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"Quality-Of-Life" Surveillance Leads to Drug Arrests

South Norwalk intersection frequent location of narcotics sales and other street crime, police said.

A police “quality-of-life” surveillance operation in South Norwalk Sunday afternoon resulted in two persons being arrested on drug charges, said police spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Cotto.

Cotto said Special Services Officer Mark Suda was observing the intersection of South Main and Merritt streets, which is a frequent location for drug transactions and other street crime, and thought he witnessed a hand-to-hand drug sale occur between a man and a woman.

Suda approached the couple and reported finding the man holding $18 cash in his hand. Suda noted that, based on his experience, single pieces of crack cocaine are sold for around $15 to $20.

Suda said the man, later identified as Leroy Hillard, also was carrying two cell phones, a telltale sign of a drug dealer, he reported.

Hillard also was carrying two glass pipes containing loose crack cocaine, and a single, knotted baggy of suspect cocaine, Suda said.

The woman, identified as Zina Russell, possessed a glassine envelope containing a substance that tested positive for heroin, and drug paraphernalia, Suda alleged.

Cotto said Russell allegedly told Suda she had not paid Hillard for the crack cocaine; he'd given to her for free.

Hillard, 60, of 210 Munson St., New Haven, was charged with possession of narcotics; possession of narcotics within 1,500 feet of a school; manufacture, distribution or sale of a narcotic; manufacture, distribution or sale of a narcotic within 1,500 feet of a school, possession or control of a narcotic substance without authorization; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of drug paraphernalia within 1,500 feet of a school; and two counts of conspiracy.

Suda did not identify anyone with whom Hillard was allegedly conspiring.

Hillard was given a court date of Dec. 17. The arrest log did not show a bond for Hillard.

Russell, 48, of 43 Chestnut St., was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of drug paraphernalia within 1,500 feet of a school. She was held on $5,000 bond and given a court date of Dec. 17.

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