13 charged as county police move against cocaine ring

February 08, 1996|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,SUN STAFF

Howard County police charged 13 people -- including three already in custody -- yesterday in connection with what they say is a North Laurel drug ring that funneled 2.2 pounds of cocaine a month onto county streets.

At least five other arrests are pending in an investigation that began after a crackdown on prostitution in the Jessup area in June, police said.

About 25 Howard County drug detectives, uniformed officers and a tactical squad began making arrests and serving warrants at 6 a.m. yesterday and finished about 2:30 p.m., police said. Officers from Laurel and from Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Carroll and Prince George's counties assisted.

Eight of those arrested yesterday were charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, which is a felony, said Howard Lt. Tim Branning, head of the vice and narcotics section.

Two others were charged with misdemeanor drug violations.

Three others already in jail on unrelated charges also were charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute, police said..

Police said they hoped yesterday's arrests would end a long-running operation that sold powder and crack cocaine worth $100,000 a month in the U.S. 1 industrial area near Whiskey Bottom Road, just west of the Prince George's County line.

"We were able to put together a strong case," Lieutenant Branning said. He said 2.2 pounds is a significant amount of cocaine, although drug detectives recall Howard County cases in the past involving larger amounts.

The investigation began in June after police responded to merchants' complaints about prostitution in a North Laurel business area. Police traced drug activity among the prostitutes to Master Detailing, an auto shop in the 9700 block of Washington Blvd. that is owned by Dwayne Adam Brown, 28, of Columbia.

Through informants, Howard drug detectives collected evidence against 18 people, including several ounces of cocaine seized under search warrants in December, Lieutenant Branning said.

Detectives have traced the powder cocaine to New York, probably Brooklyn, and the crack to Philadelphia, Lieutenant Branning said.

Arrested on felony indictments yesterday and taken to the Howard County Detention Center are:

Derrick Allen Brown, 25, and Donald Eugene Colbert, 33, both of Laurel; Patricia Shirlee Jackson, 36, and Vincent Carvel Moore, 37, both of Jessup; Tracy Valle, 29, and James Anthony Valle Jr., 28, both of Silver Spring; Antoine Vontrence Barnes, 20, of Columbia; and Tyrone Brown, 30, of no fixed address.

The three others charged but already jailed are Mr. Brown, the auto shop owner; Tony Diandre Brown, 28, of Severn; and Dwight Allen Davis, 23, of no known address.

The two charged on misdemeanor drug warrants are Larry Drakeford, 49, and Bruce Alan Chaikan, 39, both of Laurel.

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