Wicomico County law enforcement officials show a vehicle seat cushion with a hidden compartment they say was used by the drug trafficking ring to stash illegal drugs for transport. (Photo: WBOC)
SALISBURY, Md.- In what authorities are calling the "biggest drug bust in county history," a multi-year investigation targeting a large-scale drug trafficking organization in Wicomico County has led to the indictments of 71 suspected drug dealers, including several suspected drug "kingpins."
Wicomico County State's Attorney Matt Maciarello, Sheriff Mike Lewis and other members of the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force announced the arrests at a news conference held Thursday at the Salisbury Police Department.
According to Lewis, the hidden compartments in cars that were used to stash illegal drugs show how organized and significant the drug ring was.
"You can see the level of sophistication that goes into the installation, manufacture and deployment of these types of compartments in the drug trade," Lewis said. "We have not indicted 71 nickel-and-dime drug dealers. We have indicted major drug traffickers."
In addition, officials said more than $1 million worth of heroin, cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills were confiscated, along with more than $600,000 in cash and property. Authorities also said they were able to confiscate numerous firearms, ammunition and bullet-proof body armor, which the suspects allegedly used to facilitate the sale of illegal drugs throughout the area.
According to Maciarello, the following indicted suspects have been charged since the beginning of the investigation:
Austin Roberts, 36, of Salisbury
Ranson Chandler, 35, of Salisbury
Dashee Hauson Covington, 31, of Cambridge
Robert Lee Elmore, 39, of Princess Anne
Duane Horsey, 33, of Salisbury
Phillip Scott Bailey, 34, of Salisbury
Charles Alexander Myers, 28, of Salisbury
Holly Sterling, 36, of Salisbury
Quincy Lamar Maness, 27, of Salisbury
Lavaughn Clifton Price, 40, of Salisbury
Leonard Hassell, 43, of Salisbury
Louis Terrel Smullen, 34, of Salisbury
Shawanna Byrd, 35, of Salisbury
Keith Lamont Parker, 25, of Salisbury
Shawn Donta Hugee, 37, of Delmar, Md.
Leonard Edward Drew, 45, of Salisbury
Myron Lamont Waters, 42, of Salisbury
Kevin Lindele Parker, 28, of Salisbury
Kierre Lontrel Collick, 24, of Delmar
Anthony Arsenault Sr., 55, of Snow Hill
Mark Farrell McCabe, 48, of Berlin
Antwan James Townsend, 24, of Parsonsburg
Brittany Marie Hansen, 28, of Salisbury
Phillip David Horner Jr., 34, of Salisbury
Janet McKee, 50, of Salisbury
Mary Lou Sieglar, 49, of Salisbury
Roscoe Thomas Henry Sr., 45, of Salisbury
Kenneth Gerrard Johnson, 35, of Salisbury
Anthony Corbin Jones, 33, of Salisbury
Jevon Lamonte Mills, 36, of Salisbury
Brian Keith Mason, 40, of Salisbury
Terron Lamont Crump, 34, of Salisbury
Kevin Cornelius Land, 36, of Salisbury
Jeffery Edward Simpson, 49, of Salisbury
Deandre Antoine Wright, 29, of Hebron
Tyrone Sheppard, 42, of Salisbury
Tyrae Warran Dupris Cuffee, 34, of Delmar
Kevin William VIckers, 24, of Chestertown
Tristan Meshon Dozier, 31, of Salisbury
Tyshon Gabriel Hobson Sr., 25, of Salisbury
Annette Laverne Loper, 50, of Salisbury
Tymar Kereem Purnell, 31, of Salisbury
Ronnie Julian Bivens, 30, of Salisbury
Maurice Kenneth Hardy, 37, of Salisbury
Leon Grant, 26, of Salisbury
Arnold Williams, 34, of Salisbury
Andrew Raymond Jackson, 39, of Baltimore
Allan Purnell, 32, of Salisbury
Tereek Nutter, 29, of Salisbury
Eric Maurice Holbrook, 31, of Salisbury
Jamy Toadvine, 36, of Salisbury
Irving Lawrence Polk Jr., 34, of Salisbury
Delante Jones, 22, of Salisbury
Donald James Webb, 58, of Salisbury
Michael Tyrone White, 52, of Crisfield
Richard Lee Williams, 42, of Georgetown, Del.
Maciarello said the following suspects are still wanted in connection with this investigation:
Shawn Lee Brown, 38, of Salisbury
Brian Matthew Arnold, 24, of Chestertown
Benjamin Basil Fontaine, 35, of Salisbury
Michael Stuart Matusky, 35, of Willards
Floyd Lee Sykes, 33, of Salisbury
Rashaan Abdule Evans, 29, of Salisbury
Dwayne Lamont Taylor, 43, of Salisbury
Antonio Bradley, 30, of Salisbury
David Jesse Hotton, 34, of Selbyville, Del.
Develle Howard Morgan, 35, of Salisbury
Jason Robert Suha Elliott, 34, of Mardela Springs
Devale Jerwyn Palmer, 37, of Salisbury
Jeffrey Linwood Wilhide, 54, of Salisbury
Jerry Lee Gully, 26, of Ocean City
Anthony Hardy, 41, of Nanticoke
The following suspects, however, have been charged as CDS-Drug Kingpins: Austin Roberts, III, Ranson Chandler, Jr., Terron Crump, David Hotton, Anthony Hardy, and Maurice Hardy.
Maciarello said someone charged as a drug kingpin is one who is believed to occupy a position of organizer, supervisor, financier, or manager, and who acts as a co-conspirator in a conspiracy to manufacture, distribute, dispense transport in, or bring into the state, a controlled dangerous substance. The penalty for drug kingpin is imprisonment for not less than 20 years nor more than 40 years.
Kelly Hawrylyshyn, who is a mother of three in Salisbury, said that word of this drug bust puts her mind at ease.
"That's a relief to me to have them behind bars I feel more comfortable with my children being out walking the streets or with their friends knowing the streets are safe," she said.
Ernie Mittle said he has lived in Salisbury for many years and spends a lot of time outside doing work around his house.
Mittle said he feels safe knowing so many alleged dealers are off the streets.
"Nail them and put them away," Mittle said. "It looks like we have to build more prisons and it's like all of us, we don't want it in our backyard but it's here so use it."
David Buchanan said he calls the work of police a job well done.
"It is an appropriate thing for government to be involved in no matter what you think about the size of government and I think everyone agrees that this is what we ought to be doing," Buchanan said.
Anyone with information on the wanted suspects is asked to contact the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force at (410) 548-4005.
The 71 indicted suspects face a range of state and federal charges including conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled dangerous substances. They could face between five and 40 years in prison if convicted.
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:19 AM EDT2013-05-18 14:19:20 GMT
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