Two charged in alleged overdose death
STEVENSVILLE — Two people have been charged in connection with a Sept. 14 overdose death at the Subway, 230 St. Claire Place, in Stevensville.
Don Diego Brown, 58, of Ingleside has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, distribution of heroin, conspiracy to distribute heroin and reckless endangerment in the death of Crystal Jean Ringgold, 27, of Henderson. Rachel Maury Bowman, 20, of Church Hill was charged in the same case.
“The heroin epidemic in this country is ravaging families and killing aa record number of young people in epic proportions. We intend to prosecute those responsible for selling this insidious drug in our community and causing overdose deaths,” said Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Lance Richardson. “My condolences go out to the families of these victims, and my office will dedicate our best efforts to hold these drug dealers accountable.”
Ringgold was discovered unresponsive from a suspected heroin overdose in the restroom at the Subway store. Both the Queen Anne’s County Sherif f ’s Office and Drug Task Force responded. Police identified a person at the scene, Bowman, who may have distributed or facilitated the distribution of the heroin to Ringgold. She was detained by Task Force members while detectives got a warrant to search her and her belongings.
The search found .2 grams of suspected heroin, two suspected Zubsolv pills and a suspected Suboxone strip, police said.
Bowman was charged with the suspected distribution of controlled dangerous substances to Ringgold and possession of heroin, Zubsolv, Suboxone and drug paraphernalia. She also was charged on an arrest warrant for possession of heroin with intent to distribute in a separate case the Drug Task Force was investigating.
Bowman was held on $107,500 bond. Preliminary hearings in both cases are set for Oct. 13 in Queen Anne’s County District Court.
Further investigation allegedly implicated Brown, who police said met with Bowman directly before Ringgold’s death then allegedly delivered the drug to Ringgold. A warrant was issued for his arrest.
Drug Task Force members with the assistance of troopers assigned to the Mar yland State Police Centreville Barracks located Brown driving through Centreville about 11 a.m. Sept. 20. They stopped him headed north on Route 301 near Rolling Bridge Road and ar rested him without incident.
A search of Brown’s car found traces of heroin, two Suboxone strips and heroin re- lated para- phernalia, police said. He was also charged with possession of those items, and his 2004 Toyota Camry was seized.
Bail for Brown was set at $757,500 for both cases. A preliminary hearing in the overdose case is set for Oct. 20 in District Court. A trial on the possession charges stemming from the car search is set for Nov. 9.
At the time of his arrest, Brown was on parole or probation from a 25-year sentence in a first-degree assault conviction stemming from an incident in 2001, in which he also had been charged with attempted murder.
“As I have stated in the past and demonstrated with our many allied agency partnerships including our Drug Task Force, if you sell drugs in Queen Anne’s County it’s only a matter of time before we come knocking on your door,” said Queen Anne’s County Sheriff Gary Hofmann. “We have a zero tolerance for drug dealers within our community. We are encouraging that those addicted to substances get the appropriate mental health and treatment services available.
“This is a nationwide epidemic, but locally I can assure you that we will make every effort possible to lock up and put away drug dealers, seize their assets, and make examples of these individuals publicly. We will not tolerate drug dealers in our county.”
“The charging of Don Diego Brown with involuntary manslaughter for supplying the heroin used in a recent fatal drug overdose should send a clear message to drug dealers in Queen Anne’s County,” said MSP Lt. Scott Cook. “That message is two-fold. First, law enforcement and prosecutors will use ever y tool available to them to combat the heroin epidemic infecting our communities. Second, if you choose to sell heroin in Queen Anne’s County, be prepared to spend a considerable portion of your life in prison.”
Cook praised the efforts of the Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force, saying they did an outstanding job identifying the source of supply and building a case for prosecution.
“Their ongoing efforts are invaluable in keeping our communities and families safe,” Cook said.
CRYSTAL JEAN RINGGOLD
DON DIEGO BROWN
RACHEL MAURY BOWMAN