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Two District of Columbia Police Officers Arrested in Crack Sale


June 1993

Two Washington, District of Columbia police officers were arrested May 29 in connection with the sale of crack cocaine (Robert Howe and Keith Harriston, "Two D.C. Officers Arrested In Crack Cocaine Sale Case: Both Joined Force During 1990-91 Police Hiring Rush," Washington Post, 5/1/93, D1).

Police arrested Officer Aaron K. Sullivan, 23, as he was selling drugs in a parking lot in Northeast Washington. Deputy Police Chief Phil O'Donnell said that Sullivan had sold crack to police department employees several times in recent months. Sullivan, who was held without bond, joined the department in 1991. Also arrested was Officer Martha P. Martinez, 23, who shared an apartment with Sullivan. Police found more than $4,000 worth of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia at the apartment. Martinez joined the department in 1990.

The two officers were hired under a congressional mandate requiring D.C. to increase the number of police officers in the city to 5,100. As a result of deadlines imposed by the mandate, the city hired a number of police officers without completing the usual background checks. Of 50 officers currently facing criminal charges in the Washington area, the majority were hired during that period, according to information provided by the D.C. police department, and federal and local prosecutors.

Sullivan was charged with selling 50 grams or more of crack cocaine. Martinez was charged with possession of 50 grams or more of crack cocaine with intent to sell. Both face a mandatory minimum of 10 years without parole if convicted.