Elk­ton man gets six years in ‘wire­tap’ heroin case

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

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.

HAMIL­TON

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