Police and prosecutors roll out drug indictments of heroin kingpins as heroin continues to rack up deaths
News and Commentary
By Ken Rossignol
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
(DENTON, MD) – According to police an additional ten indictments and arrests have resulted from the continuing cooperative cross-jurisdictional and multi-state drug investigation, with more expected as police continue to dismantle a drug trafficking organization they believe was responsible for the distribution of heroin and a variety of other drugs throughout the Upper Shore region.
Between July 23, 2014 and July 25, 2014 the following suspects were arrested on Caroline County Circuit Court indictments:
The first suspect is identified as Byron S. Drummond, 27, a black male, of 413 Academy Street, Denton, Md. He was served charging documents on 7/25/2014 and charged with being a drug kingpin, possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), possession with intent to distribute narcotics, and two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance not marijuana. Drummond is currently incarcerated on an unrelated drug conviction in the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center. Drummond will be held on no bond pursuant to the indictment.
Drummond had been charged with Drug Kingpin charges as well as five other counts on June 23rd and locked up in jail on June 24th and released on July 21st, when the Queen Anne’s County States Attorney dropped all the charges. The police and prosecutors filed new charges against Drummond just in time for him to be arrested again on July 25th.
In a Caroline County Circuit Court trial held on March 25, 2014, Drummond faced charges of drug possession and attempting to elude police by beating feet in an incident which took place on Oct. 25, 2014. In a plea deal arranged by his attorney Stephanie A. Shipley of Easton and the Caroline County States Attorney, Drummond was found guilty on July 10, 2014. He was sentenced to 90 days in the slammer with no time suspended. Drug possession charges placed on Oct. 26, 2013 by Officer John Labelle resulted in a trial on Jan. 31, 2014. Drummond was found guilty and sentenced to three years and one day.
Since this is Maryland where the judicial system rivals Alice in Wonderland, the Caroline County Judge suspended three years of his sentence, leaving but one day for this hardened criminal to serve in the hoosegow.
Court records show that Drummond was locked up on Oct. 26, 2013 in connection with the above charges, posted bond the same day and on Jan. 31, 2014 was jailed again until Feb. 18, 2014.
Drummond was indicted in charges filed with the Caroline County Circuit Court on July 7, 2010 accusing him of possession and distribution of drugs and found guilty on Dec. 14, 2010.
The Judge in the case sentenced him to 18 months in jail, which is the exact amount of time needed to prevent him from being sent to the state prison and be allowed to serve out his time in the country club conditions of the local jail. The plea deal resulted in the more serious charges being dropped and the Judge recommended work release which is a great deal for a man that authorities say is a drug dealer.
One favorite deal for lawyers and Judges in the land of Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod, known as the State of Maryland, was the attempt of Drummond to have the Judge reconsider his sentence. After the publicity dies down and the attention of the media is diverted, a Judge who might have given a stiff sentence to a convicted criminal then dramatically drops the sentence when the public isn’t looking. On Feb. 4, 2011, court records show that the court denied the motion. While Drummond wasn’t successful in having his sentence reduced, he had won work release which isn’t too bad at crimping his style or interfering with his alleged drug sale income.
On Oct. 4, 2006, a trial was held in Caroline County Circuit Court, according to court records, conducted only by a Judge.
On charges of second degree assault brought in a case in which Drummond was arrested by Denton Police Officers Jamie Secrist and Dan Franklin, Drummond was found guilty by a judge and sentenced to two years in prison with one year and ten months suspended, leaving but two months to serve in jail.
The court records show that for some really strange reason known only to the Judge and perhaps the Mad Hatter, Drummond was “…allowed to skip the weekend of Dec. 29th and to report to the Detention Center on Friday, January the 5th, 2007 by 5 pm to commence serving the rest of his time.”
Perhaps he had pre-paid for a cruise. Maybe he had advance knowledge that one of his grandmothers was going to die and he needed time off to go to her funeral. Seriously, folks, you can’t make this stuff up.
Charges of reckless endangerment and carrying a deadly weapon with the intent to injure were dropped as part of the plea deal.
This deal for Drummond was approved by the Circuit Court Judge and Caroline County States Attorney Jonathan G. Newell, the current States Attorney of Caroline County.
Newell, a Republican, had won the 2002 election, beating the appointed Caroline County States Attorney Robert Greenleaf, a Democrat, who was seeking a full four-year term in the election that year. Newell has served as Caroline’s States Attorney since.
Greenleaf has now been convicted of sexual offences while using court computers in the Maryland Court of Special Appeals offices where he was serving as Deputy Chief Clerk, and has been branded by the Court of Appeals as a ‘sexual predator’ when he attempted to keep from disbarred following his conviction.
While Drummond was supposed to be incarcerated on Dec. 27, 2006, he was apparently able to be free and able to conduct his business on the streets. On that date, according to court records of Talbot County, Md., he was charged with distribution of drugs by Trooper Nichols of the Maryland State Police with Curt Anderson of Baltimore listed as Drummond’s attorney.
The second suspect is identified as Joseph C. Dean, 25, of Denton, Md. He was arrested on 7/19/2014 and charged with being in possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (heroin), conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (cocaine) and possession of a firearm in connection to a drug trafficking crime. Dean was originally held on $50,000. He was released on July 21, 2014, according to court records, after posting bail and is awaiting trial.
According to court records of the District Court in Queen Anne’s County, Dean was charged by Maryland State Trooper Nichols with being a drug kingpin on June 24, 2014 and that charge, along with others were dropped by States Attorney of Queen Anne’s County on July 21, 2014.
Court records do not reflect whether new charges were brought in Queen Anne’s County, although when a prosecutor decides to drop charges against a suspect new charges can be brought within one year of the incident of the alleged crime.
Court records online in Maryland are full of typos and frequently are not up to date, thus new charges consistent with what the State Police claim have been filed, could be on the record but not available for the public to inspect. After all, this is government work.
Soon after the Queen Anne’s County charges were dropped, a new indictment against Dean was placed on the record in Caroline County by States Attorney Robert Newell.
Dean was charged with conspiring and possession of a large amount of drugs from June 2, 2014 to June 23, 2014. He was also charged with packing heat while dealing drugs, which may earn him extra points in the big house, unless of course a plea deal is struck which simply assigns him to picking up litter in front of the court house.
According to court records, Dean, of 519 Franklin Street in Denton, Md., a white male, was charged with possession of less than ten grams of pot in Worcester County on Sept. 1, 2013 and issued a citation. On Feb. 19, 2014 he was found guilty in a disposition in which he paid a $500 fine and was placed on unsupervised probation until Feb. 19, 2015. A conviction in the most recent distribution charge would be a violation of his probation, which might be the least of his problems.
The “secret status” was removed from the indictment on June 22, 2014 and the next day Dean was able to post bond by seeking the services of a bail bond company.
The third suspect is identified as Taylor E. Gibson, 22, of Denton, Md.
She was arrested on 7/19/2014 and charged with being a drug kingpin, conspiracy possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (heroin), conspiracy possession with the intent to distribute narcotics (cocaine). Gibson was held without bond in the Caroline County Detention Center.
Gibson is listed in court records as being a small woman, at 5’2” and weighing 105 pounds and being of the following races: white, Caucasian, Asiatic Indian and Arab. She is a resident of 11150 New Bridge Road in Denton and her charges of being a Drug Kingpin dealer placed against her on June 23 in Queen Anne’s County on June 24, 2014 were all dropped by the Queen Anne’s States Attorney on July 21, 2014 and she was released from custody on that date.
The new Drug Kingpin charges were placed against Gibson on July 22, 2014 in Caroline County. She was arraigned in court on July 22nd.
Gibson has a varied record of traffic offences on the court records with a charge of driving a 2003 Cadillac on Gay Street in Denton on Sept. 15, 2013 on a revoked permit by Denton Police Officer J. Labelle resulting in the Caroline County States Attorney dropping the charge on Oct. 15, 2013.
The fourth suspect is identified as Kentral Carter, 29, of Ridgely, Md. He was arrested on 7/21/2014 and charged with possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (heroin), and conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (cocaine). During the arrest of Carter, he was found to be in possession of additional heroin, cocaine, oxycodone hydrochloride pills and marijuana. Carter was originally held on $75,000 pursuant to the indictment and an additional $12,000 for the drugs found on his person during his arrest. Carter was released after posting bail on July 22nd and is awaiting trial.
Court records reflect that Carter was indicted in the Circuit Court of Caroline County and arraigned on July 22, 2014 for offences allegedly committed between June 2, 2014 and June 23, 2014.
Carter, a black male, and resident of 105 Sunshine Drive in Federalsburg, Md., was charged with driving while suspended on July 16, 2013 by Trooper Z. Clark of the Maryland State Police Easton Barrack. He appeared in District Court in Caroline County on Oct. 29, 2013 and found guilty as charged and assessed a fine of $142.50 plus court costs and sentenced to thirty days in jail, all of which was suspended — just like his license.
On Sept. 20, 2009, Carter, with an address at the time of 28455 Adkins Road in Salisbury, was charged with possession of a firearm which had its serial numbers altered, illegal possession and reckless endangerment by Officer Thomas Hitty. On November 24, 2009, all charges were dropped by the Wicomico County States Attorney.
New charges were refiled by the Wicomico States Attorney resulting in a public defender from Salisbury filing her appearance on behalf of the alleged drug dealer, most of whom deal in cash that cannot be traced thus the liberal Judicial system of Maryland spends taxpayer funds on providing counsel to drug dealers. When drug dealers see the results facing them of “free” counsel, they often, as in the case of Carter, seek private counsel. It’s too bad that K-9 drug dogs aren’t posted in banks to scan cash deposits from defense attorneys. At this point in this saga, court records note that on Dec. 7th (Pearl Harbor Day) of 2009, the public defender entered her appearance and withdrew on Feb. 5, 2010. On Feb. 19, 2010, Jason A. Kobin of Forest Hill, Md., entered his appearance on behalf of Carter.
The new privately financed criminal defense attorney promptly arranged a plea for his client and on March 24, 2010 a deal was struck, calling for Carter to receive five years in prison with three years and six months suspended, getting his actual sentence down to the magical figure of eighteen months, which kept his criminal carcass in the local hoosegow and out of the Maryland State Prison system where he would have been forced to deal with the big boys of crime. Judge Donald C. Davis, in his infinite wisdom, consented for this admitted criminal who was convicted of illegally waltzing around Maryland with a firearm which had its serial number removed, to have “work release” so he could return to the streets to do whatever work his skills require.
On June 25, 2009, Carter was charged by Salisbury Police Officer D. Underwood with driving a motor vehicle without a driver’s license
On July 7, 2007, Carter was charged with theft in the District Court of Wicomico County and on Dec. 31st the charge was dropped by the States Attorney of Wicomico County.
It’s really too bad that all of this information is not available to juries in such cases in order to better enable them to render a verdict.
On Oct. 21, 2004, almost ten years ago, Carter committed various acts of drug dealing in charges filed by Salisbury Police Officer Matthew G. Sammons, and on Feb. 3, 2005 he pleaded guilty to being a drug dealer and agreed with a “statement of facts” outlining his drug distribution tactics and results.
At a plea bargain hearing he got to choose door number two and his prize was four years in the slammer and the Judge once again doled out an actual sentence of eighteen months with that time to be served in the local Jail/Hotel Salisbury.
Once again the incredible action of allowing a confessed drug dealer to have “work release” is recorded in black and white on the Maryland court records of this case.
The last note on the case file notation dated May 15, 2008 reads “Supervision Summary, Request to Close Unsatisfactory – refer collection of restitution and fees to the State CCU at case expiration”.
The fifth suspect is identified as Adam Hutson, 21, of Greensboro, Md. He was arrested on 7/21/2014 and charged with possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (heroin), and conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (cocaine). Hutson was held on $60,000 bond and is currently in the Caroline County Detention Center.
Hutson, while new to the criminally charged for drug dealing in Maryland has been recognized early on for his contributions to the underworld industry in allegations placed against him on April 23, 2011. A white male who listed his address in court documents as 412 North Academy Street in Greensboro, Md., was charged with possession with the intent to distribute drugs by Caroline County Sheriff’s Deputy Andrew Durham. Hutson ponied up the money required for good criminal defense attorneys, who have their own mouths to feed, and hired Warren Price and J. Dennis Murphy of Annapolis to be his mouthpiece. The attorneys quickly requested a jury trial and the case was moved to Caroline County Circuit Court on June 22, 2011.
On April 28, 2011, Hutson was charged in Circuit Court on Distribution and other drug charges and on Sept. 11, 2011 he was given a real pass. The charges of drug distribution were put on the Stet Docket, meaning Hutson would have to be a good boy and obey all laws for one year or else the charge MAY be brought back to haunt him.
He pleaded guilty to simple possession of pot and paraphernalia and was given six months in the clink for the pot, with all of the time suspended and three years of supervised probation for the paraphernalia. He was also fined $250.
In spite of such an easy outcome to serious drug charges, Hutson showed he was still maturing into being a real bozo as he managed to violate the terms of the probation and warrant for his arrest was signed by Judge Jenson on Nov. 4, 2013. Later that month his two Annapolis lawyers, likely either unpaid or just disgusted, hit the bricks.
Court records show that Dana S. Boston filed an appearance representing Hutson on Jan. 3, 2014.
On the most recent charges, that of being a drug kingpin, Hutson was jailed, as police noted in their release of the big roundup of heroin dealers, but on July 24, 2014, Hutson showed he had enough resources to Hire East Coast Bail Bonds to post his $60,000 bail bond and he is now back on the streets to pursue whatever his industrious mind wishes to lead him to do.
The sixth suspect is identified as Jason Bowen, 32, of Greensboro, Md. He was arrested on 7/21/2014 and charged with conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (heroin). Bowen was held on $10,000 and is currently in the Caroline County Detention Center.
On Sept. 4, 2008, and in a plea deal with Bowen drug charges put on the Stet Docket. Bowen escaped multiple counts and took a plea on a simple pot possession charge, getting 30 days in the slammer with all of the time suspended and a fine of $242.50 along with $55 in court costs.
The seventh suspect is identified as Lexi Whiteley, 23, of Ridgely, Md. She was arrested on 7/21/2014 and charged with conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (heroin). Whiteley was held on $25,000 and is currently in the Caroline County Detention Center.
Court records show that on eleven counts of theft and burglary filed against Lexi Marie Whiteley, of 14850 Cherry Lane, Ridgely, Md., on Oct. 28, 2008. In court on March 5, 2009 she was able to score big in Lets Make A Deal with Caroline County States Attorney Jonathan Newell. All charges but one were dropped by Newell and on the charge of burglary fourth degree, she was given a real gift of probation before judgment. She was not required to pay any restitution or serve any time. Her fine was $42.50 and her probation was set to end on March 5, 2011.
But on August 5, 2010 court records show she had violated probation and was jailed.
On March 13, 2014, Denton Police report that they charged Lexi Whiteley, 23 of Ridgely, with theft. The police say that Walmart employees reported they observed a female concealing items in a purse while in the store and the female was still in the store. Police located the female, identified her as Whiteley, and advised her of the reason for the contact. Police located approximately $76.00 worth of merchandise in Whiteley’s purse. Whiteley was issued a criminal citation for theft under $100 and released on her signature of that citation. Whiteley was also issued paperwork from Walmart barring her from all Walmart stores.
The eighth suspect is identified as Charles Outland, 33, of Denton, Md. He was arrested on 7/22/2014 and charged with conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (heroin) and conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (cocaine). Outland was held on $75,000 and is currently in the Caroline County Detention Center.
Charles “Pun” Outland also has an address of 5309 N. 16th Street in Philadelphia, Pa. He was arraigned on the above charges on July 23, 2014 and jailed.
Outland was charged with various drug charges including distribution on April 21, 2001 when Robert Greenleaf was the Caroline County States Attorney. Greenleaf gave Outland a sweet deal and dropped the serious drug charges on May 17, 2001. Outland’s deal to plead guilty to possession of drugs netted him a sentence of four years with one year and six months suspended and credit for 183 days of time served.
By Sept. 25, 2002 court records show that Outland was in violation of the terms of his probation and on Oct. 1, 2002 he was back in the slammer.
Outland was once again in the plea bargain central, this time with Caroline County States Attorney Newell. On serious distribution charges placed against him on June 10, 2005, Outland entered a plea of guilty and on Oct. 25, 2005 was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He was given credit for time served of 130 days and by April 25, 2008 he was given probation. On August 28, 2009 a petition was filed with the court charging him with violating his probation and he was soon back in jail.
On March 23, 2012, the court was notified that he had once again racked up new criminal charges, perhaps because he is simply a criminal.
By May 19, 2014, Outland was reported in court records to have not paid outstanding monies to the court and that his case should be sent for collection.
The ninth suspect is identified as Andrew Ryan Brelia, 23, of Greensboro, Md. He was arrested on 7/24/2014 and charged with conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (heroin). Brelia was held without bond and is currently in the Caroline County Detention Center.
Brelia is working on establishing his criminal record.
On April 7, 2011 he was charged with possession of pot and paraphernalia by Trooper Derek Caraballo of the Maryland State Police. The white male who lived at 124 Mill Street in Greensboro decided to take his chances with a jury and requested his case be moved to the Circuit Court, an unusual move for what usually is a minor charge.
The delaying tactic seemed to work swell for Brelia as his public defender (paid by the taxpayers) managed to work a deal with Caroline County States Attorney Newell and the deal was struck on Oct. 5, 2011. A few pending traffic charges for failure to do right along with his pot packing charge were combined into the deal with everything but the possession of paraphernalia dropped and a $100 fine assessed. Brelia skipped any jail time in the nice arrangement and the services of Assistant Public Defender Christine Dufour were free. In spite of such an easy outcome, on Jan. 4, 2012, Brelia’s attorney actually filed a motion for reconsideration of the sentence to probation before judgment which, should the Judge grant it, would remove the guilty conviction from his record.
On Feb. 6, 2014, Brelia was charged by Caroline County Sheriff’s Deputy First Class Reibly with distribution of narcotics, possession of drugs as well as paraphernalia. Once again, Brelia and his attorney figured it was better to be going to door number two at Circuit Court.
On June 17, 2014, Brelia was once again charged with possession and distribution of various narcotics by Maryland State Police Trooper W. Bringman as noted in District Court and court records reflect that he posted bond and was released the same day.
On July 18, 2014 a Grand Jury indicted Brelia on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics in what police say is a major heroin distribution effort on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Court records now note that probation has been notified and his new address is the Caroline County Detention Center.
The tenth suspect is identified as Emily Hill, 20, of Ridgely, Md. She was arrested on 7/24/2014 and charged with conspiracy possession with intent to distribute narcotics (heroin). Hill was held without bond and is currently in the Caroline County Detention Center.
Gary Kess, charged with Drug Kingpin and related charges, held without bond after a bail review. He was out on $375,000 bond from an Anne Arundel County case.
Edward Blanch, charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin, now out having posted $25,000 bond, and he was already out on a (unrelated) pending Caroline County heroin distribution charge on another $25,000 property bond at the time.
Samantha Mitchell, charged with Possession of Large amount of Heroin, and conspiracy to distribute heroin and conspiracy to distribute pills, presently being held on $12,000 bond.
Cynthia Steenken pleaded guilty to felony theft in Circuit Court for using a bank card to steal about $90,000 over the course of several months in 2013 from her parents, mostly to pay for a Percocet addiction. Her bond was revoked and she is facing 10 years for the felony theft, as well as four years for violating a prior probation before judgment for possession of cocaine.
“Her parents had asked on several occasions to drop the case entirely, so we allowed her to plead to the ten year felony theft instead of the 15 year theft she was originally charged with,” said States Attorney Newell. “She was also originally charged with theft over $100,000 at one point, but it became clear as the case progressed that charge did not apply given the amount in question.”
“We expect that these arrests will effectively cripple the local heroin trade for a long time, but arresting dealers will only slow the epidemic, not eliminate it,” Caroline County State’s Attorney Jonathan Newell said. “As long as there is a demand, there will eventually be a supply. We hope this investigation will reduce the numbers of new users and interrupt the supply to existing users, and drastically reduce the number of overdoses in this county. But at the same time, the current heroin addicts in our community need to take this opportunity to seek treatment so we don’t find ourselves right back in the same position a year from now. All suspects should be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”
A number of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in and provided support to this investigation. They included the Talbot County Narcotics Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force, Dorchester County Drug Task Force, Denton Police Department, Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Baltimore Police Department, and Maryland State Police Units including the Centreville Barrack, State Apprehension Team, Gang Enforcement Unit, Special Tactical Assault Team Element, and the Criminal Enforcement Division.
Making the arrests this week, the Caroline County Drug Task Force was assisted by the Maryland State Police, the Maryland State Police Fugitive Apprehension Team, the Maryland State Police Field Operations Bureau, and the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation is continuing. Additional arrests and charges are expected.