An interstate drug trafficking strike force inaugurated with the governor's March 19 summit on violent crime scored its first major bust this weekend, breaking up a drug ring that investigators said was transporting drugs along Interstate 95.
Police said the ring was centered in Chester, S.C., about 55 miles north of Columbia, and included the commander of the county sheriff's narcotics unit, Lt. Danny Ray Glenn.
The 34-year-old lieutenant, who had been with the Chester County Sheriff's Department for five years, was arrested Saturday in South Carolina.
He was charged with taking a bribe, official misconduct in office and obstruction of justice, said Tfc. J. Scott McCauley, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police Bureau of Drug Enforcement.
The investigation began March 31 when a trooper from the Kennedy Highway state police barracks stopped a car with South Carolina tags for speeding on I-95 in Harford County.
The driver, Edward C. Davis, 24, of Chester, told the trooper a loaded handgun was in the glove box. The trooper arrested Mr. Davis and his passenger, Mark A. Mapp, 23, also of Chester. A search of the car uncovered a kilo of cocaine, $5,200 in cash and a second handgun, police said.
Both men were charged with smuggling cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession with intent to distribute and transporting handguns. They are awaiting trial in the Harford County Detention Center.
After learning that the seized drugs had been obtained in New York and were bound for South Carolina, the interstate task force began its investigation, Trooper McCauley said.
During that investigation, conducted with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Department, officials learned that Lieutenant Glenn was believed to be involved in the drug ring.
Lieutenant Glenn was thought to be tipping off participants about when and where police operations were taking place, investigators said. He also removed cocaine from his property room and gave it back to the organization to be sold on the street, Trooper McCauley said.
The investigator said the South Carolina officer was paid between $1,000 and $5,000 for his assistance, depending on the type of operation.
A spokesman for the Chester County Sheriff's Department said the lieutenant was arrested after he allegedly accepted $1,000 from a drug dealer for protection.
Lieutenant Glenn was fired by Chester County Sheriff Bobby Orr.
Also arrested Saturday were Edward Gray, 43, and Tyrone F. McCloud, 25, both of Chester. Both were charged with trafficking cocaine, which in South Carolina is subject to a 25-year minimum sentence with no chance of parole. All three were being held at the Chester County jail.