Police say Staten, who is an executive committee member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's Maryland conference, was in the driver's seat of a car that had stopped near Pennsylvania Avenue and Dolphin Street, which police say is a well-known drug market.
Officers in an unmarked vehicle say a man walked away from a large crowd of people huddled on a street corner and climb into the passenger seat of a silver-colored vehicle.
They wrote in charging documents that they watched a back-seat passenger hand cash to a man standing outside his window in exchange for suspected drugs.
Officers approached the vehicle and found a folded-up dollar bill containing suspected heroin and two pills of suboxone, also known as buprenorphine, a medication used to treat heroin addiction, in the possession of the back-seat passenger, Kevin Logan, 44.
Police found Staten in possession of additional suboxone pills inside a case, and in the driver's side door. They also recovered a half-smoked marijuana cigarette.
Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi says a passenger told officers that Staten had brought him to the area to buy heroin.
Staten and Logan were taken to Central Booking, where Logan was charged with two counts of drug possession. Staten, of Pikesville, was released without charges.