Elkton man gets six years in ‘wiretap’ heroin case
ELKTON — An Elkton man — whom Cecil County Drug Task Force agents developed as a suspected heroin dealer through court-approved telephone wiretaps conducted over several weeks in 2016 — received a six-year prison term on Thursday after accepting a plea deal.
Cecil County Circuit Court Judge William W. Davis Jr. imposed a 12-year sentence on the defendant, Gaylin Trayvaugh Hamilton, 24, of the unit block of Douglas Street, for a conspiracy to possess heroin with intent to distribute conviction and then suspended half of it.
Hamilton had pleaded guilty to that offense on Oct. 2, as part of a plea bargain in which prosecutors dropped several related charges, including possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Davis ordered Hamilton to serve two years of supervised probation after completing his six-year term, which he will serve in a Maryland Department of Corrections prison.
The sentence imposed by Davis met a recommendation made by Assistant State’s Attorney Patricia Fitzgerald, who sought six years of active incarceration for Hamilton. State sentencing guidelines, which are based on a defendant’s criminal record and other factors, set a penalty range of four to eight years of active incarceration for Hamilton.
During an investigation into Cecil County heroin distribution, CCDTF agents tapped the phone of their first suspect, who, as a result, was charged with federal heroin-related offenses and is awaiting his trial in U.S. District Court, prosecutors said. While monitoring that person’s phone conversations, agents were able to develop and then charge several other suspects, in- cluding Hamilton, prosecutors added.
CCDTF agents would hear Hamilton schedule times and places to conduct heroin deals and then, building their case against him, they would conduct surveillance at the appointed places and times outlined by Hamilton and the people on the other end of his line, prosecutors reported.
The case built against Hamilton led to a Cecil County grand jury handing up a seven-count indictment against him on March 1, according to Cecil County Circuit Court records, which list Hamilton’s offense date as June 14, 2016, through July 14, 2016. Court documents indicate that investigators arrested Hamilton on March 2 and that he initially was held on a $50,000 bond.
In other related action on Thursday, prosecutors dropped all charges against Hamilton in two other drug cases — one in which Elkton Police Department investigators found 241 baggies of heroin, cash and other drugs on July 30 while raiding his Douglas Street residence, according to court records. Hamilton was free on bond in the wiretap case, at the time of this arrest. After that July 30 raid, Hamilton was charged with possession of heroin with intent to distribute and three other offenses.
In addition to finding and confiscating 241 packets of heroin — bearing a “Blade” street brand name — inside Hamilton’s residence, investigators found and seized small amounts of “crack” cocaine and marijuana, as well as $716, police reported.
As for the other criminal case, prosecutors dropped three drug charges filed against Hamilton after an Aug. 11 incident, court records show.