North East traf­fic stop yields ‘meth,’ four ar­rests

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— Four peo­ple are fac­ing drug charges af­ter a traf­fic stop in North East led to the con­fis­ca­tion of metham­phetamine — which clearly had been pack­aged for sale — co­caine and a shot­gun, ac­cord­ing to Ce­cil County Dis­trict Court records.

“The clear plas­tic bag­gies of sus­pected metham­phet-

NORTH EAST

amine con­tained writ­ten dol­lar amounts, mark­ing the CDS (con­trolled dan­ger­ous sub­stance) for sale,” the ar­rest­ing of­fi­cer, Mary­land State Police Trooper Charles Tit­tle, wrote in his state­ment of prob­a­ble cause.

Tit­tle stopped a Chevro­let GMC Sonoma oc­cu­pied by the four sus­pects on east­bound East Ce­cil Av­enue about 12:45 a.m. Fri­day, be­cause the pickup truck had a mal­func­tion­ing brake light, and then he spoke with the driver, North East-area res­i­dent Denise Re­nee Keith­ley, 48, police re­ported.

Keith­ley ex­plained that she was driv­ing the three men in her truck to the Whis­per­ing Pines Mo­bile Home Park near Elk­ton, a few miles east of the traf­fic stop, police said.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors iden­ti­fied those men as front-seat pas­sen­ger Leroy Elsworth Warner, 20, of Port De­posit; Rockie Allen Poe, a 22-yearold Elk­ton-area res­i­dent who was seated di­rectly be­hind Warner in the rear pas­sen­ger’s side seat; and rear driver’s side pas­sen­ger David Anthony Blakely, 21, of North East, police added.

“While speak­ing with the driver, she ap­peared to be ner­vous, shak­ing and fail­ing to make eye con­tact with me. The other male pas­sen­gers also ap­peared to be ner­vous... Warner looked di­rectly down at his feet dur­ing the en­tire ini­tial,” Tit­tle wrote in his re­port, which in­di­cates that he be­lieved “crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity was afoot.”

Be­cause of “the host of crim­i­nal in­di­ca­tors,” which in­cluded mul­ti­ple air-fresh­en­ers hang­ing from the rearview mir­ror, the trooper sum­moned Ofc. Matthew Nus­sle of the Elk­ton Police Depart­ment K-9 Unit and his spe­cially-trained scent dog, Rom­mel, police said.

Rom­mel alerted to the pres­ence of il­le­gal drugs while scan­ning the out­side of the ve­hi­cle, which prompted in­ves­ti­ga­tors to search the truck, police added.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors seized 10 bag­gies of metham­phetamine, which, com­monly called “meth,” were inside a pre­scrip­tion bot­tle that searchers found un­der the rear pas­sen­ger’s seat, court records al­lege. They also con­fis­cated an un­loaded 12-gauge shot­gun, which searchers found in the rear pas­sen­ger’s seat, court records show.

Dur­ing a sec­ondary search of Keith­ley at the MSP North East bar­rack, a fe­male of­fi­cer found a bag­gie con­tain­ing sus­pected crack co­caine stashed in Keith­ley’s bra, police re­ported.

“Keith­ley made a free and vol­un­tary state­ment that Warner handed her the sus­pected co­caine when I ini­ti­ated the traf­fic stop and told her to hide it on her per- son,” Tit­tle noted in charg­ing doc­u­ments.

Poe main­tained that Warner had made a sim­i­lar re­quest of him con­cern­ing the meth, ac­cord­ing to court pa­pers.

“Poe stated that dur­ing the course of the traf­fic stop, Warner slid the pre­scrip­tion bot­tle con­tain­ing the sus­pected metham­phetamine be­hind him and to Poe’s foot. Poe stated that Warner ad­vised him to hide the bot­tle and to take the charge for him,” court records al­lege.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors found a hy­po­der­mic sy­ringe and a clear plas­tic bag­gie, both of which showed “trace amounts” of heroin, inside Blakely’s pocket while search­ing him, police said.

Warner, who re­mained in the Ce­cil County De­ten­tion Cen­ter in lieu of $175,000 bond on Tues­day, is fac­ing five charges, in­clud­ing pos­ses­sion of metham­phetamine with in­tent to dis­trib­ute, court records show.

In lieu of $7,500 bond, Poe also also re­mained in the county jail on Tues­day, ac­cord­ing to court records.

Keith­ley is free on a $7,500 bond that she posted on Mon­day, af­ter spend­ing the week­end in jail, court records show.

Blakely also is free, hav­ing been re­leased on per­sonal re­cog­ni­zance af­ter he was is­sued a crim­i­nal sum­mons charg­ing him with pos­ses­sion of heroin and drug para­pher­na­lia, ac­cord­ing to court records.

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