Police Blotter

Friday July 11, 2003


Alleged crack dealer arrested 

A man with 44 individually-wrapped pieces of crack cocaine was arrested late Monday night in south Berkeley, police said. 

Officers from the police department’s Drug Task Force searched 33 year-old Berkeley resident Jerry Banks at 11:05 p.m. on the 1800 block of Fairview Street and found a crack pipe and several empty small bags in his pockets, according to department spokesperson Officer Mary Kusmiss. 

A search of the grass and bushes surrounding him turned up 15 grams of crack cocaine and three bags of marijuana, with a street value of roughly $450, Kusmiss said. 

“Dealers often hide their stashes nearby — they’ll put them in mailboxes, under the hood of a car, in the bushes,” she said. 

Banks was arrested on suspicion of possession for sales of a controlled substance and a felony probation violation, Kusmiss said. 


Berkeley Police leary of linking N. Oakland homicide to border feud 

Berkeley police said they are wary about linking a Tuesday morning murder in North Oakland to an apparent border feud between Oakland and Berkeley drug dealers. 

“According to our detectives, there may be some connection, but they’re just not certain,” said Kusmiss. 

Oakland police found Robert Perry, 19, outside his apartment building on the 500 block of 58th Street with multiple gunshot wounds at about 2 a.m. the morning of July 8. He was pronounced dead at Oakland’s Highland Hospital, the city’s 59th homicide victim of the year. 

Oakland police said they had no suspects Wednesday and issued no official motive in the slaying, but sent an advisory to North Oakland neighbors stating that the shooting might be linked to the ongoing feud. 

Community members who knew Perry said he was a “good kid,” according to an account in the Oakland Tribune, and expressed doubt that he would be involved in any kind of drug war. 

The apparent feud has included bursts of gunfire in Oakland and two brazen, daylight shootings in Berkeley on June 17 and June 18. There were no deaths in either shooting. 

Kusmiss said several known drug dealers appear to be involved, but she was still hesitant to say the feud was driven by drugs. 

“There is some type of feud going on — but what the catalyst is, we still don’t know,” she said.