Local NAACP Vice President Arrested on Drug Charges

WBAL-TV (Baltimore), March 7, 2009

Baltimore City police arrested the vice president of Baltimore’s NAACP on Thursday after heroin and marijuana were recovered during a search of his car.

Joe Sviatko, a spokesman for the State’s Attorney’s Office, said prosecutors have declined to prosecute the case because they do not believe it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Police said Ellis L. Staten Jr., 44, who is also an executive committee member of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People Maryland Conference, was in the driver’s seat of a car that had stopped near Pennsylvania Avenue and Dolphin Street.

Officers described the area as a well-known drug market.

According to arrest documents, police, officers in an unmarked vehicle observed a man walk away from a large crowd of people huddled on a street corner and climb into the passenger seat of a silver vehicle.

The officers also said they observed a back-seat passenger hand cash to a man standing outside his window in exchange for suspected drugs.

Doc Cheatham, president of the NAACP Maryland chapter, would not comment on the case.

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