Prince George's County sheriff's deputies led a predawn crackdown on suspected narcotics users and dealers yesterday, arresting 24 persons, including a man charged in the slaying last year of a 6-month-old child.

A force of 70 deputies, county, state and local police with arrest warrants swept down on 64 addresses, most of them inside the Beltway. It was part of a beefed-up, federally funded enforcement program called WANT, for warrant apprehension narcotics teams.

The county received $118,000 for the program, the first such strike force in the state conducted jointly by several jurisdictions, according to Lloyd Pond, director of the governor's office of justice assistance.

Sheriff James V. Aluisi said crack, a powerful form of cocaine, with a street value of $2,000 was recovered in one arrest. A sawed-off shotgun, rifle, handgun and cash also were seized.

Besides the 24, one man was arrested in the District and two more in other states. Eighteen were charged with conspiracy to distribute drugs. Eric McCutchen, 20, of District Heights was charged with murder in the alleged death of a 6-month-old girl who died last March after being violently shaken, police said.