Police arrest 2 men, seize 325 pounds of drugs in Ellicott City Marijuana worth $422,500 tied to regional ring

March 26, 1998|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

One of the largest marijuana seizures in Howard County history and the arrest of two suspected dealers last week crippled a regional drug ring, police said yesterday.

Acting on a tip, Howard County detectives last Thursday seized about 325 pounds of the drug, valued at about $422,500, at an Ellicott City "stash house."

After keeping the investigation under wraps last week to protect undercover detectives, police said they would continue the probe into the ring, which extended from a small California town to dealers and "go-betweens" in Howard, Montgomery and Anne Arundel counties.

"Without a doubt, a seizure of that size puts a dent in their operation," said Lt. Tim Branning, who heads the Howard County police narcotics section. "This was a major bust."

Branning said the two suspects were arrested after carting away about 86 pounds of marijuana from an Ellicott City apartment.

Police seized an additional eight boxes of marijuana, stacked neatly in the pair's Chevrolet pickup, according to police.

Detectives described the pair as mid-level dealers in a ring that would have funneled the drug to Howard County streets and others across the region.

Police were not sure how long the ring -- with at least five operatives -- had been in action.

The seizure comes as suburban police have intensified their battle against the resurgence of heroin, an increasingly popular drug across social and economic lines.

Branning said this bust and another in December showed that marijuana use might also be on the increase.

"It's definitely a sign that marijuana has not gone away," Branning said.

A tip to a regional task force of narcotics detectives led Howard County police on March 19 to an apartment in the 3200 block of Wheaton Way in Ellicott City.

About 2: 40 p.m., an unidentified courier delivered three boxes to the apartment and left, Branning said. Police quickly executed a search warrant and found about 86 pounds of marijuana, a handgun, two rifles and $500, Branning said.

But detectives -- suspecting the apartment owner was only a go-between for a later pickup -- continued their stakeout, Branning said.

About two hours later, police watched two men enter the apartment and leave with the boxes and arrested them, Branning said.

Charged with drug possession with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to distribute drugs were Tony McAdoo, 22, of the 9500 block of Park Ave. in North Laurel and Anthony Carman, 26, of the 9600 block of Muirkirk Road in Laurel.

The men were released on bail.

Pub Date: 3/26/98

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