Women sen­tenced for heroin pos­ses­sion

Co-de­fen­dant in court this week

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum - By AN­DREW CEPHAS acephas@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @CalRecANDREW

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.

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