Tag Archives: cocaine

Whiteford Man Convicted of Firearm Charges in Relation to Drug Trafficking

MEDIA RELEASE
DATE: May 13, 2022
RE: Conviction of Nicholas Hunt

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Nicholas Hunt, 26, of Whiteford, Maryland, for possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possession of a regulated firearm after having been convicted a disqualifying crime.

On August 29, 2018, the Warrant Apprehension Unit of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services were investigating the apprehension of a fugitive at 1313 Gold Medal Way in Edgewood Maryland. Upon arrival at that address, investigators encountered Nicholas Hunt, who led investigators into his apartment where the fugitive was staying. Upon entry, investigators discovered marijuana in plain view along with a disassembled firearm. At this point, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office was notified, and a search and seizure warrant was obtained.

Following the execution of the search and seizure warrant on Nicholas Hunt’s apartment, the Harford County Narcotics Task Force recovered approximately three ounces of cocaine and one and a quarter pounds of marijuana along with paraphernalia indicating that the illegal drugs were being weighed and packed for street level distribution. Also recovered was a 1911 Browning semi-automatic handgun near the drugs.

Subsequent to a grand jury indictment on the charges in 2018, the defendant fled the State and was eventually apprehended in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 3, 2021. On May 12, 2022, Nicholas Hunt pled guilty to possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime and possession of a regulated firearm after having been convicted a disqualifying crime. The Honorable Kevin J. Mahoney sentenced Mr. Hunt to an aggregate sentence of 35 years of incarceration, suspend all but 10 years to be served without the possibility of parole to the Department of Corrections. Upon completion of those sentences, the defendant was additionally placed on five years of supervised probation.

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Cristin Treaster who prosecuted this matter and commended the Harford County Narcotics Task Force, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division for their teamwork and dedication which resulted in the arrest and conviction of Nicholas Hunt.

Baltimore Man Convicted of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine

Baltimore Man Convicted of Possession With Intent to Distribute Cocaine

MEDIA RELEASE

DATE: March 21, 2022

Conviction of Sterling Anton Melton
(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Sterling Anton Melton, 35, of Baltimore, Maryland, for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

On February 25, 2020, Detectives from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office received information that a man was selling illegal narcotics from an apartment at the Stay Inn and Suites, located at 636 S. Philadelphia Boulevard in Aberdeen. Working with the Aberdeen Police Department, Detectives from both agencies conducted covert surveillance on the Stay Inn and Suites and observed what appeared to be illicit narcotics activity, specifically originating from room 117. Based upon this information, Detectives sought and obtained a search and seizure warrant.

On March 3, 2020, Detectives from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the Aberdeen Police Department conducted further surveillance on room 117 and observed the suspected dealer, later identified as Sterling Anton Melton, leave the room and get into a waiting vehicle. That vehicle was then stopped and Mr. Melton was taken into custody. The subsequent search of room 117 resulted in the recovery of approximately seven grams for crack cocaine, as well as marijuana, and three loaded handguns. A search incident to the arrest of Sterling Melton resulted in the additional recovery of approximately 16 grams of crack cocaine from his person.

On March 21, 2022, the Honorable Paul W. Ishak imposed a total sentence of twenty (20) years suspending all but fourteen (14) years to be served at the Division of Correction. Upon release, Mr. Melton will be on three (3) years of supervised probation.

“This conviction serves as yet another reminder that my Office works closely with our law enforcement partners from across Harford County to pursue persons involved in the sale of dangerous drugs and hold them accountable,” said Harford County State’s Attorney Albert Peisinger, Jr. “We will take whatever steps are necessary to remove illegal guns and narcotics from our communities and make our neighborhoods safe.”

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Jaskulski-Tripp who prosecuted this matter and commended the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the Aberdeen Police Department for their teamwork and dedication to conducting the investigation which resulted in the arrest and conviction of Sterling Anton Melton.

TWO HARFORD COUNTY COCAINE DEALERS CONVICTED AFTER FEDERAL TRIAL FOR THEIR PARTICIPATION IN A DRUG DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY

U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
District of Maryland
Erek L. Barron 36 South Charles Street 410-209-4800
United States Attorney4th Floor TTY/TDD: 410-962-4462
Baltimore, Maryland 21201 410-209-4885
Marcia A. Murphy FAX 410-962-3091
Public Affairs Specialist Marcia.Murphy@usdoj.gov
March 11, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact MARCIA MURPHY
www.justice.gov/usao/md at (410) 209-4854

TWO HARFORD COUNTY COCAINE DEALERS CONVICTED AFTER FEDERAL TRIAL FOR THEIR PARTICIPATION IN A DRUG DISTRIBUTION CONSPIRACY

Baltimore, Maryland – A federal jury convicted Che Jaron Durbin, age 43, of Aberdeen, Maryland and Terrell Darnell Walton, age 36, of Delaware, yesterday on federal charges related to their participation in a drug trafficking organization distributing cocaine and crack cocaine in Harford County, Maryland. Specifically, the jury convicted Durbin and Walton for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. The jury also found Durbin guilty of two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

The guilty verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr.; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office; and the Harford County Drug Task Force, a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program, comprised of members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Aberdeen Police Department, the Bel Air Police Department, and the Havre de Grace Police Department.

According to evidence presented at the eight-day trial, in May 2019, members of the Harford County Drug Task Force were investigating Durbin, who was suspected of drug trafficking in the Harford County area. Durbin testified at trial that he had a previous federal drug trafficking conviction in Maryland, as well as a previous conviction in Harford County Circuit Court for drug trafficking.

Witnesses testified that on May 17, 2019, a U.S. Postal Inspector notified detectives that a suspicious package was en route to Durbin’s mother’s apartment in Aberdeen, Maryland. Detectives watched as a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier delivered the parcel to Durbin, who took it into the apartment. A short time later, a woman, later identified as co-defendant Jameka Cara Thompson, left the apartment with the parcel and drove to her home. Law enforcement detained Thompson and obtained a search warrant for her vehicle. The parcel was found to contain one kilogram of compressed cocaine. Further investigation revealed that co-defendant Jack Anderson from Tucson, Arizona was the sender of the package.

On January 22, 2020, law enforcement learned from U.S. Postal Inspectors that Durbin sent a parcel from Havre de Grace, Maryland, addressed to Anderson in Tucson, Arizona. A search warrant was obtained for the parcel after a K9 gave a positive alert. The parcel contained $82,300 in cash inside a wireless headphones box.

In February 2020, as part of the investigation, law enforcement intercepted Durbin’s
communications, as well as those of Anderson, Walton, and other co-defendants to whom Durbin supplied cocaine and crack. The evidence at trial also showed that Walton obtained cocaine from Durbin, which Walton then sold to a network of individuals in Harford County. Intercepted communications between Durbin and Walton included discussions regarding the amounts of drugs and the price, often using coded language.

According to trial testimony, in May 2020, law enforcement surveilled Durbin meeting with Anderson at a Tucson, Arizona hotel. Soon after the meeting, Durbin picked Thompson up at the Tucson Airport and drove her back to his hotel room. Durbin flew back to Maryland the next day and Thompson ultimately obtained a bulk supply of cocaine from Anderson on Durbin’s behalf. Thompson drove cross-country from Arizona to Harford County, where she was arrested on May 12, 2020. Law enforcement searched her vehicle, seizing an additional 1.4 kilograms of cocaine. Durbin was also arrested. According to trial testimony, over the course of the conspiracy Thompson made at least eight similar trips on Durbin’s behalf, transporting almost 40 kilograms of cocaine to Maryland for Durbin to distribute.

Durbin and Walton each face a maximum sentence of 40 years in federal prison for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine. Durbin also faces a maximum of 40 years in federal prison for each of two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III has not scheduled sentencing dates for Durbin or Walton.

Co-defendant Jack Anderson IV, age 45, of Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced to 126 months in federal prison in December 2021, after Anderson entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine. Co-defendants Jameka Cara Thompson, age 41, of Abingdon, Maryland; Garrick Devlon Jackson, age 39, of Havre de Grace, Maryland; and Michael Ronnell Wells, age 37, of Forest Hill, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to their participation in the conspiracy and are awaiting sentencing.

United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, the DEA, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, and the Harford County Drug Task Force for their work in the investigation and thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for its assistance. Mr. Barron thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher J. Romano and Jason X. Hamilton, who are prosecuting the case.

For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/project-safe-neighborhoods-psnexile and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.

Aberdeen Man Sentenced to 15 years Imprisonment for Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine

MEDIA RELEASE

DATE: November 16, 2021
RE: Conviction of Marlon Albert Jenifer

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Marlon Albert Jenifer, 34, of Aberdeen, Maryland for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of marijuana.

On March 16, 2019, the Harford County Narcotics Task Force was engaged in an active narcotics investigation in the area of Route 40 and Custis Street in Aberdeen when they observed a vehicle pull into the parking lot of a convenience store and the occupants engage in illegal drug transaction. Detectives followed the vehicle and eventually pulled it over for a traffic stop. Upon doing so, the passenger, Marlon Jenifer, jumped from the vehicle and fled from police. After a brief foot pursuit, Mr. Jenifer was captured and searched, whereupon he was found to be in possession of 5.9 grams of cocaine and 78 grams of marijuana.

On November 12, 2021, following a bench trial in front of the Honorable Mickey Norman, Mr. Jenifer was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of marijuana. Upon conclusion of the trial, the Court then immediately sentenced Mr. Jenifer to 15 years incarceration to the Division of Corrections.

“I am proud of the work that my Office, along with our law enforcement partners, has done to fight the narcotics trade that threatens our community,” said Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger. “Our prosecutors will continue to push for significant jail sentences for those who decide to be involved in selling illegal drugs.”

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Cristin Treaster who prosecuted this matter and commended the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the Harford County Narcotics Task Force and the Maryland State Police Forensic Science Division for their hard work and dedication in conducting the investigation that resulted in the arrest and conviction of Mr. Jenifer.

Baltimore Woman Convicted of Firearm/Drug Trafficking Charge

MEDIA RELEASE

DATE: October 22, 2021
RE: Conviction of Tangier Laquisha Sher Hitchens

(Bel Air, Maryland) – Albert J. Peisinger, Jr., State’s Attorney for Harford County, has announced the conviction of Tangier Laquisha Sher Hitchens, 28, of Baltimore, Maryland, for possession a firearm under sufficient circumstances to constitute a nexus to the drug trafficking crime.

On January 27, 2021, Deputies from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Crime Suppression Unit were conducting surveillance in regard to an ongoing investigation involving Tangier Laquisha Sher Hitchens. During the course of surveillance, Deputies observed Ms. Hitchens driving a dark colored Acura TL. Knowing that there was an active Search and Seizure Warrant for Ms. Hitchens person, a stop of her vehicle was conducted. Ms. Hitchens was detained and a canine scan was conducted of the vehicle which resulted in a positive alert.

The vehicle was searched resulting in the recovery of a satchel located on the front driver’s seat. Located in the satchel was one clear plastic bag containing less than 10 grams of suspected marijuana, one blue glove containing a small amount of cocaine, one clear plastic bag containing a small amount of a heroin and fentanyl mixture, one Rock Island .38 caliber revolver loaded with four rounds, and one box of twenty-eight rounds of .32 caliber ammunition. Further search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery of two digital scales and fifty-five small empty pink containers used for packaging controlled dangerous substances for distribution. A search of Tangier Lauquisha Sher Hitchens resulted in the recovery of one clear plastic bag containing forty-eight oxycodone pills and a partial tablet of Alprazolam.

On October 18, 2021, the Honorable Diane Adkins-Tobin imposed a total sentence of 20 years suspend all but 9 years of incarceration to be served at the Division of Corrections, the first 5 years of which are to be served without the possibility of parole. The Defendant will be on five 5 years of supervised of probation when she is released.

Mr. Peisinger thanked Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Jaskulski-Tripp who prosecuted this matter and commended the Harford County Sheriff’s Office Crime Suppression Unit, Harford County Sheriff’s Office Canine Unit, specifically, K-9 Pemi and the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division for their detailed investigation which resulted in the arrest and conviction of Tangier Laquisha Sher Hitchens.

TWO HARFORD COUNTY NARCOTICS DEALERS PLEAD GUILTY TO PARTICIPATING IN A CONSPIRACY TO SELL CRACK COCAINE

September 1, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
www.justice.gov/usao/md

Contact MARCIA MURPHY
at (410) 209-4854

TWO HARFORD COUNTY NARCOTICS DEALERS PLEAD GUILTY TO PARTICIPATING IN A CONSPIRACY TO SELL CRACK COCAINE

Murphy and Bolden Obtained Cocaine from a Supplier in Delaware and Sold At Least 112 grams of Crack Cocaine

Baltimore, Maryland – Reginald Leon Bolden, age 37, of Harford County, Maryland and Tremayne Gerrad Murphy, age 40, of Harford County, Maryland pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to distribute cocaine base.

The guilty pleas were announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner; Harford County State’s Attorney Albert J. Peisinger, Jr.; Assistant Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore District Office; Chief Melissa R. Hyatt of the Baltimore County Police Department; Sheriff Jeff Gahler of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office; and the Harford County Narcotics Task Force comprised of members of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Aberdeen Police Department, Bel Air Police Department, and Havre de Grace Police Department.

According to their guilty pleas, as a result of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force investigation into a drug trafficking organization (DTO) distributing powder and crack cocaine, Murphy, Bolden, and Joel Hammond were identified as DTO members. Law enforcement also observed numerous instances of drug-related activities.

For example, on February 24, 2020, investigators surveilled Bolden and Murphy as they traveled to Wilmington, Delaware to meet with a cocaine supplier. After completing the transaction for nine ounces of cocaine, Bolden and Murphy returned to Harford County to distribute the cocaine. Two days later, Murphy was observed traveling to a Wilmington, Delaware casino to return the cocaine to the original supplier as customers complained about the quality of the cocaine.

After meeting with the source, detectives followed Murphy back to Harford County where Murphy was observed conducting a hand-to-hand drug transaction.

As stated in their plea agreements, on March 15, 2020, Bolden was intercepted regarding the purchase of three ounces of crack cocaine from co-defendant Hammond. Bolden had arranged the transaction through a co-conspirator, who transported money to Hammond and received a small backpack from Hammond, which investigators believed contained the cocaine.

The co-conspirator, Murphy, and Bolden determined when Murphy could retrieve the cocaine. After the conversation, investigators observed the co-conspirator exit his residence with the same small backpack of suspected cocaine and briefly enter a vehicle operated by Murphy. Once the conspirator quickly exited Murphy’s vehicle without the backpack, Murphy subsequently traveled to Bolden’s residence.

After a brief period of time, Bolden was observed exiting Hammond’s residence and proceeded to return to Harford County. As Bolden returned to Harford County, members of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant on his vehicle where law enforcement seized 16 grams of powder cocaine, 41 grams of crack cocaine, and $660 in cash.

As a result of a search warrant executed at Bolden’s residence, law enforcement recovered 12 grams of crack cocaine, $2,785 in cash, numerous items of packaging material, and a digital scale containing cocaine residue.

As a member of the DTO, Bolden agrees that it is reasonably foreseeable that the amount of crack cocaine sold was at least 280 grams but less than 840 grams.

Murphy and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Murphy will be sentenced to between 60 months and 92 months in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for December 2, 2021 at 11 a.m.

Bolden and the government have agreed that, if the Court accepts the plea agreement, Bolden will be sentenced to between eight years and nine years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett has scheduled sentencing for November 2, 2021 at 11 a.m.

Co-defendant Joel Hammond pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute cocaine base on July 1, 2021. If the court accepts the plea agreement, Hammond will be sentenced to six years in federal prison. His sentencing is set for October 27, 2021 at 11 a.m.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner commended the DEA, the Harford County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Harford County Narcotics Task Force, and the Baltimore County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Lenzner thanked Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Romano, who is prosecuting the case.

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