Howard police seize $211,000 in marijuana in 2 raids

Athlete, 17, among suspects

207 plants found in woods

August 08, 1999|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

In separate drug raids, Howard County police arrested seven people, including a Columbia high school athlete, seized more than $211,000 worth of marijuana and shut down what they suspect was a major source of marijuana in Long Reach, authorities said.

The most recent raid occurred last week at a home in the 8900 block of Footed Ridge in Columbia, where police said they seized 4.4 pounds of marijuana packaged for sale, $3,000 and a handgun. The marijuana was worth about $4,500, police said.

Police arrested five males, including Devon Taron Conwell, 17, a starting football and basketball player for Long Reach High School and an all-county player in both sports. Conwell lived at the Footed Ridge home.

He was charged as an adult with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana and possession of drug-related paraphernalia.

"We felt as though the group was responsible for some major drug activity in Long Reach," said Lt. Tim Branning, who supervises the county's vice and narcotics unit.

Police said they found about $450 worth of marijuana on three young men who arrived at the house.

Terrance Crosby, 18, Thomas L. Moon, 19, and a 17-year-old male, all of Columbia, were charged with possession with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

A 15-year-old boy who also arrived at the house was charged with possession with intent to distribute, possession of drugs and motor vehicle violations. Police said they found 15 small bags of marijuana and 12 rocks of cocaine on the boy.

The 15-year-old and the second 17-year-old were charged as juveniles, and The Sun does not name juvenile crime suspects.

The other arrests stem from a tip police received July 11 from two hikers who saw marijuana plants in some woods, police said.

Police found a "sophisticated" 30-by-30-foot crop site -- 207 marijuana plants, fenced and surrounded by chemicals to keep away animals. The site was about a quarter-mile from Bluebird Trace in North Laurel.

"It appears that there had been some trees cut down for sunlight to get through," Branning said. "There were some plants that were ready to process."

The next day, "The man came back to tend to his grow," Branning said. "He was arrested after a short foot pursuit."

Curtis Lee Dorsey, 27, of the 8800 block of Bluebird Trace was charged with manufacturing a controlled dangerous substance, possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of paraphernalia.

Officials said they seized the plants, which were valued at $207,000, plus a quarter-pound of processed marijuana, drug-related paraphernalia and $2,300 cash.

Another man was arrested after he came to the Bluebird Trace home under surveillance. Police said they found 245 Ecstasy pills, valued at $2,000, on the man.

Philip Damon Knight, 26, of the 10700 block of Hampton Mill Terrace in Rockville was charged with possession with the intent to distribute, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of paraphernalia.

Branning said more arrests may occur in both cases.

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