Women sentenced for heroin possession
Co-defendant in court this week
A North Beach woman and a Virginia woman entered guilty pleas to drug violations and were sentenced in circuit court for a January incident where they, along with a man, were reportedly found in possession of more than 53 grams of heroin.
Katelyn Amber Echard, 24, of North Beach was indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute narcotics, attempted possession of controlled dangerous substances—not marijuana and conspiring to possess controlled dangerous substances—not marijuana, according to online court records. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute narcotics last month.
Her co-defendant, Stefani Deniece Hangliter, 25, of King George, Va., was indicted on charges of possession of controlled dangerous substance in large amounts, possession of controlled dangerous substances with the intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute controlled dangerous substances. Hangliter pled guilty to possession of controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute Monday morning.
The other co-defendant, Michael George Richardson, 31, of Huntingtown, was indicted on charges of possession of controlled dangerous substance in large amounts, possession of controlled dangerous substances with the intent to distribute, conspiring to distribute controlled dangerous substances, possession of controlled dangerous substances—not marijuana and possession of controlled dangerous substance paraphernalia.
Dfc. Fox of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office began a narcotics investigation involving Richardson in December. During the course of the investigation, Fox learned of two involved women, Echard and Hangliter, previous reports state.
Fox observed Richardson’s vehicle travel to a known drug distribution area in Anne Arundel County through electronic tracking Jan. 8, previous reports allege. With the help of mobile surveillance from the drug enforcement unit, Fox saw when Richardson’s vehicle was entering Calvert County. After identifying Richardson as the driver with two female passengers, members of the special operations team allegedly observed the front seat passenger, Hangliter, shove something into her pants as they executed the traffic stop. A search of Hangliter’s person allegedly found 53 grams of heroin, according to previous reports. The heroin has a street value of $6,300, Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans (R) said at the time of the incident.
Richardson was transported to the Calvert County Detention Center for processing and Echard and Hangliter were transported to the sheriff’s office for questioning. The women’s stories did not completely correlate, but both reportedly identified Richardson as a “big time heroin dealer.” Richardson took the women with him to Annapolis to buy some heroin, previous reports allege. Hangliter told officers Richardson paid $4,400 for 50 grams of heroin. She said Richardson told her to hide the heroin when they saw the officers.
Fox obtained search and seizure warrants for Richardson’s residence on the 2000 block of Biplane Court, an Aerolite travel trailer at his residence and a gold Chevy Impala Richardson owned, and a body warrant for Richardson. Hypodermic syringes, a digital scale with heroin residue, a cellphone, a paper ledger and suboxone strips were allegedly located in Richardson’s trailer, the reports state. All evidence was transported to the Drug Enforcement Unit for processing.
At her plea hearing last month, Echard was given a 20-year sentence with all but 30 days suspended after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute controlled dangerous substances. Echard served the 30 days while in pretrial custody following the January incident. She was also given five years of supervised probation. If the probation is violated, Echard faces nearly 20 years of backup time.
Hangliter entered a guilty plea to possession of controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute June 27. She was sentenced to 15 years of incarceration with all but three years suspended. She was given credit for 73 days she served in pretrial custody and five years of supervised probation.
Richardson’s jury trial was set to begin June 28 in circuit court.