The first suspect is identified as Byron S. Drummond, 27, of Denton, Md. He is charged with being a drug kingpin, possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), possession with intent to distribute narcotics, and two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance not marijuana. Following his arrest, Drummond was ordered held without bail in the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center.
The second suspect is identified as Gary T. Kess, Jr., 36, of Windsor Mill, Md. He is charged with possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), possession with intent to distribute narcotics, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance not marijuana. Following his arrest, Kess was held without bail in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center.
The third suspect is identified as Joseph C. Dean, 25, of Denton, Md. He is charged with being a drug kingpin, possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), possession with intent to distribute narcotics, and possession of a controlled dangerous substance not marijuana. Following his arrest, Dean was held without bail in the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center.
The fourth suspect is identified as Taylor E. Gibson, 22, of Denton, Md. She is charged with being a drug kingpin, possession of a large amount of a controlled dangerous substance (heroin), possession with intent to distribute narcotics, two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance not marijuana, and possession of marijuana. Following her arrest, Gibson was held without bail in the Queen Anne’s County Detention Center.
An additional suspect, Bobby Jackson, of Delaware, was arrested by Delaware State Police after police in Maryland forwarded information developed in the investigation. Additional arrests and charges are anticipated as this investigation continues.
The arrests of the Maryland suspects occurred between June 23-24, 2014. During the investigation, police served 13 search warrants in Caroline County. Evidence recovered during the investigation includes seven handguns, one rifle, more than 230 grams of heroin, and quantities of cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone, and suboxone. Police also recovered more than $42,000 in cash and eight vehicles believed to be related to the drug distribution operation.
The investigation began about four months ago and was led by the Caroline County Drug Task Force. Information developed during the investigation indicates Drummond, Gibson, and Dean were part of a drug trafficking operation supplying drugs, especially heroin, throughout Caroline County and much of the Upper Shore. Investigators believe Kess was the source for the heroin Drummond and his organization was distributing.
“The success of this operation was rooted in the outstanding cooperation of a number of law enforcement agencies, all of which are to be commended for a job exceptionally well done,” Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds said. “We at the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office pledge our continued support for these types of initiatives, especially when considering the pain and devastation heroin has caused in our county and throughout the country.”
The Caroline County State’s Attorney’s Office was actively involved in providing guidance and support to police during this investigation. The suspects charged as drug kingpins will be prosecuted on those charges in Caroline County.
“This ongoing investigation represents the focused efforts by our local task force with full cooperation of the Maryland State Police, the Federal government and local police agencies,” Caroline County State’s Attorney Jonathan Newell said. “I expect those combined efforts will put a significant dent in the Caroline County heroin trade and success will be measured by a reduction in lives lost or destroyed through heroin use.”
“The cross-border and multi-jurisdictional focus of Maryland State Police criminal investigations is aimed at criminal enterprises just like this one,” Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Marcus L. Brown said. “I join Sheriff Bounds in applauding the cooperative partnership of local, state and federal law enforcement officers who worked together to disrupt this major drug trafficking organization supplying the Upper Shore. One of the ways we will stop the increase in heroin overdoses in Maryland is to take down those major traffickers responsible for bringing heroin into the state. This is the unique role of the State Police and one we will continue to fulfill in the days ahead.”
Last week, police developed information that Drummond, Dean and Gibson were meeting Kess to purchase heroin in Anne Arundel County. The meeting occurred on the evening of June 23rd. After the meeting, Anne Arundel County Police Narcotics Unit investigators stopped Kess in his vehicle. He was arrested and charged as a drug kingpin. Heroin, cocaine and cash were found in his vehicle. Maryland law states a person can be charged with ‘possession of a large amount of heroin’ if the amount is 28 grams or more.
Following the meeting with Kess, members of the Maryland State Apprehension Team and State Police Gang Enforcement Unit stopped Drummond, Dean, and Gibson on Rt. 50 in Queen Anne’s Co. Heroin, cocaine, oxycodone, marijuana, and cash were recovered from the suspects and their vehicle.
A number of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies were involved in and provided support to this investigation. They included the Talbot County Narcotics Task Force, Homeland Security Investigations, Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force, Dorchester County Drug Task Force, Denton Police Department, Caroline County Sheriff’s Office, Anne Arundel County Police Department, Baltimore Police Department, and Maryland State Police Units including the Centreville Barrack, State Apprehension Team, Gang Enforcement Unit, Special Tactical Assault Team Element, and the Criminal Enforcement Division.
The investigation is continuing. Additional arrests and charges are expected.
Governor Martin O’Malley has just launched an intense statewide overdose prevention initiative with the goal of reducing especially heroin overdoses and deaths in the state. A report from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shows the number of heroin-related overdose deaths increased by 18 percent in 2013, from 392 in 2012 to 464 in 2013. This increase, coupled with a rise in fentanyl and alcohol-related deaths, contributed to a seven percent rise in the total number of Maryland fatal overdoses, from 799 in 2012 to 858 in 2013.
For more information about Maryland’s overdose prevention strategy, visit http://adaa.dhmh.maryland.gov/OVERDOSE_PREVENTION/SitePages/Home.asp.
Persons anywhere in Maryland desiring help with overcoming a drug addiction are urged to call ‘211’ to learn of resources available in their area.