12 sen­tenced in drug distri­bu­tion ring

Record Observer - - Front Page - By HANNAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — In­ves­tiga­tive ef­forts by the Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force in con­junc­tion with pros­e­cu­tors from the Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice have led to the sen­tenc­ing of 12 in­di­vid­u­als charged with dis­tribut­ing co­caine and oxy­codone in Queen Anne’s County.

These cases were col­lec­tively pros­e­cuted by Jen­nifer Doud, Chris­tine Dulla Rickard and Michael Cuches of the Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice. To pros­e­cute all 12 mat­ters from start to fin­ish, it took just shy of a year, said Rickard. The two de­fen­dants who had tri­als also filed ap­peals. How­ever, Rickard said the State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice was pleased to re­port all indicted tar­gets and co-con­spir­a­tors were con­victed for roles in the drug distri­bu­tion ring.

The Drug Task Force con­ducted a wire­tap in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­tween Jan. 12, 2016, and March 3, 2016, on in­di­vid­u­als sus­pected of dis­tribut­ing co­caine and oxy­codone pills. The tar­gets of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion were iden­ti­fied as Eric Lewis Clark, Donta La­mont Miles and Apol­lo­nia Ka­te­ria Ryans. Dur­ing this time pe­riod, in­ves­ti­ga­tors in­ter­cepted thou­sands of phone calls and text mes­sages in­dica­tive of nar­cotics distri­bu­tion. Many of the in­ter­cep­tions were drug users look­ing to pur­chase drugs from the tar­get in­di­vid­u­als, said Deputy State’s At­tor­ney Chris­tine Dulla Rickard.

Law en­force­ment per­son­nel were able to con­duct sur­veil­lance on sev­eral of the drug sales that oc­curred at nu­mer­ous lo­ca­tions through­out Queen Anne’s County, in­clud­ing gas sta­tions, con­ve­nience stores, gro­cery stores and even some schools, noted Rickard. At each of these sales, the tar­get or some­one sent by the tar­get would show up to the meet­ing lo­ca­tion and pro­vide the buyer with an agreed upon amount of nar­cotics.

This pat­tern of be­hav­ior was mon­i­tored by law en­force­ment through­out the course of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. As a re­sult, sev­eral search and seizure war­rants were ex­e­cuted at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions. Ap­prox­i­mately $20,000 U.S. cur­rency, 14 ve­hi­cles, four guns, one bul­let proof vest, more than 530 grams of mar­i­juana, al­most 400 grams of co­caine, 16 grams of heroin and 228 oxy­codone pills were con­fis­cated.

The fol­low­ing in­di­vid­u­als were indicted by the grand jury on March 7, 2016, and were ul­ti­mately con­victed and sen­tenced as fol­lows:

• Eric Lewis Clark, 42, of Grasonville – con­victed of co­caine distri­bu­tion and two counts of il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a firearm. Clark be­gan a jury trial on Nov. 28, 2016; jury sat through two days of tes­ti­mony; on Nov. 30, 2016, Clark waived the jury on the third day and pro­ceeded by way of a bench trial on the distri­bu­tion and gun charges. He was sen­tenced on Jan. 3, 2017, to 30 years, ex­e­cu­tion of that sus­pended as to all but 14 years to serve at the Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tions. This sen­tence is con­sec­u­tive to a 20-year sen­tence re­ceived due to vi­o­la­tion of pro­ba­tion. He will be on su­per­vised pro­ba­tion upon his re­lease.

• Henry Jef­fer­son Gray, 57, Grasonville — con­victed of con­spir­acy co­caine distri­bu­tion and con­spir­acy pos­ses­sion with in­tent to dis­trib­ute co­caine. Af­ter a three-day jury trial be­gin­ning on June 2, 2016, he was sen­tenced Aug. 12, 2016, to 15 years, ex­e­cu­tion of that sen­tence sus­pended as to all but two years to the Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tions. He will be on su­per­vised pro­ba­tion upon his re­lease.

• Don­ald Dwight Hughes, 62, of Queen­stown — con­victed of co­caine pos­ses­sion as a sub­se­quent of­fender, and il­le­gal pos­ses­sion am­mu­ni­tion. Hughes ac­cepted a plea on Aug. 16, 2016, and was sen­tenced on Sept. 30, 2016, to 30 months to the Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tions. This sen­tence is con­sec­u­tive to an 18-month sen­tence re­ceived due to a vi­o­la­tion of pro­ba­tion.

• Michael Nathaniel Reives, 43, of Grasonville — con­victed of co­caine pos­ses­sion, ac­cepted a plea and was sen­tenced on June 10, 2016. He was sen­tenced to 18 months to the Queen Anne’s County De­ten­tion Cen­ter.

• Michael Gerald Hen­der­son, 57, of Ch­ester — con­victed of co­caine pos­ses­sion. Pled on June 14, 2016, and was sen­tenced on July 7, 2016, to serve 120 days to the Queen Anne’s County De­ten­tion Cen­ter.

• Keith Ellsmore Har­ris, 60, of Ch­ester­town — con­victed of co­caine pos­ses­sion. Har­ris ac­cepted a plea and was sen­tenced on Oct. 4, 2016. He was given a sus­pended sen­tence and placed on pro­ba­tion.

• Donta La­mont Miles, 43, of Grasonville — con­victed of con­spir­acy to dis­trib­ute co­caine and pos­ses­sion with in­tent to dis­trib­ute oxy­codone. Miles ac­cepted a plea on Sept. 6, 2016, and was sen­tenced on Jan. 6, 2017, to 12 years at the Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tions.

• Carl Mealy, 41, of Centreville — con­victed of distri­bu­tion of co­caine and pos­ses­sion with in­tent to dis­trib­ute co­caine in a school zone. Mealy ac­cepted a plea on May 20, 2016, and was sen­tenced on June 28, 2016, to 20 years at the Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tions.

• Jeremiah Eugene Lynch, 36, of An­napo­lis — con­victed of con­spir­acy to pos­sess with the in­tent to dis­trib­ute co­caine. He was sen­tenced on Sept. 19, 2016 , af­ter ac­cept­ing a plea, to five years at the Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tions. This sen­tence is con­sec­u­tive to two-year sen­tence re­ceived due to a vi­o­la­tion of pro­ba­tion.

• Apol­lo­nia Ka­te­ria Ryans, 31, of Grasonville — con­victed of two counts of con­spir­acy to pos­sess with the in­tent to dis­trib­ute oxy­codone. She pled on Aug. 19, 2016, and re­ceived sen­tenc­ing on Oct. 7, 2016, of 20 years, ex­e­cu­tion of that sen­tence sus­pended as to all but four years to serve at the Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tions. She will be on su­per­vised pro­ba­tion upon her re­lease.

• Ant­waine Wil­son, 28, of Grasonville — con­victed of two counts of con­spir­acy oxy­codone pos­ses­sion as a sub­se­quent of­fender. He was sen­tenced on Aug. 16, 2016, af­ter ac­cept­ing a plea, to eight years, per count, ex­e­cu­tion of that sen­tence sus­pended as to all but 30 months to serve at the Di­vi­sion of Cor­rec­tion. This sen­tence is con­sec­u­tive to a one-year sen­tence re­ceived due to a vi­o­la­tion of pro­ba­tion. He will be on su­per­vised pro­ba­tion upon his re­lease.

• Wil­liam Do­ran, 51, of Ne­wark, DE — con­victed of oxy­codone pos­ses­sion as a sub­se­quent of­fender. Do­ran was of­fered a plea on Nov. 21, 2016, and sen­tenced on Jan. 24, 2017. He was given a sus­pended sen­tence and placed on pro­ba­tion.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion was the re­sult of col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­forts by the fol­low­ing agen­cies: Maryland State Po­lice: Centreville Bar­racks, State Ap­pre­hen­sion Team, Crim­i­nal En­force­ment Di­vi­sion, and Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Di­vi­sion K-9 Unit; Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice; Home­land Se­cu­rity In­ves­ti­ga­tions; Centreville Po­lice Depart­ment; Maryland Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice; Queen Anne’s County States At­tor­ney Of­fice; Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force; Tal­bot County Drug Task Force and the Kent County Nar­cotics Task Force.

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