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'Apparent' drug traces found in Barry's car, Park Police say

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Park Police said Sunday "apparent" traces of marijuana and cocaine were found in the car of former Washington Mayor Marion Barry during a search last week.

Barry was sitting in a parked car Thursday night in the Buzzard's Point area of Washington when the incident occurred, according to Sgt. Scott Fear. Park Police were called to check a suspicious vehicle in a no-parking zone.

Fear said no arrest was made because the amount of drugs allegedly detected was too small to support a prosecution.

Fear said the investigating officer found the car's occupant was the former mayor who appeared to be ingesting something. The officer noticed a "powdery substance" under Barry's nose, Fear said.

Police called for a dog trained to detect drugs, and the animal "alerted" or "hit positive" on some materials, Fear said. A field test indicated positive for "residues" of marijuana and cocaine, but they were deemed so small that police did not make an arrest, Fear said. The powder reportedly observed under Barry's nose was not tested, he said.

CNN was not able to reach Barry or his lawyer for comment. However, his attorney, Fred Cooke Jr., told The Washington Post that Barry "denies being in the possession of any illegal drugs."

Cooke also was quoted as saying the former mayor allowed police to search his car, a Jaguar, because "he didn't have anything to hide."

Barry was convicted of a misdemeanor count of cocaine possession in 1990 after his arrest in a downtown hotel. He has frequently said publicly that he is drug- and alcohol-free.

Recently, Barry announced that he would make a bid this year for an at-large seat on the Washington City Council.

Barry, 66, was first elected mayor in 1978 and was re-elected in 1982 and 1986. After serving six months in prison for his misdemeanor drug conviction, he was elected mayor a fourth time in 1994.




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