8 Long Reach men charged in connection with drug ring

Undercover officers bought suspected crack

October 05, 2003|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

Howard County police say they have broken up a "loose-knit" ring of eight men accused of selling crack cocaine in the Long Reach village of Columbia after undercover officers infiltrated the group during a 10-month investigation.

The men - all residents of Long Reach - were arrested last week on multiple drug possession and distribution charges after police served search-and-seizure warrants that yielded illegal drugs, packaging materials and drug paraphernalia, police said. Police also seized one vehicle.

Police said undercover officers began buying suspected crack and marijuana from the individuals after they learned of the ring early this year through contacts.

Lisa Myers, a Howard police spokeswoman, said police served the warrants and made all the arrests Wednesday. "That's typically how it's done," she said. "The whole idea is to hit at one time."

One of the suspects, Patrick Neal O'Donnell, 19, of the 5600 block of High Tor Hill in Columbia, was also charged with illegal possession of a stolen handgun and its illegal sale to an undercover officer, Myers said.

O'Donnell was being held at the Howard County Detention Center on $770,000 bail.

Other suspects being held, according to a detention center official, include:

Ronald R. Ellison, 24, of the 8900 block of Tamar Drive, $15,000 bail.

Matthew A. Woodard, 18, of the 8800 block of Flowerstock Row, $7,000 bail.

Jeffrey M. Hammond, 24, of the 8700 block of Airybrink Lane, $12,000 bail.

Errol S. Solomon, 19, of the 6000 block of Major's Lane, $30,000 bail.

Winston M. Clarke Jr., 24, of the 9000 block of Flicker Place, $55,000 bail.

Two suspects - Bruce D. Scott, 19, of the 5700 block of Yellowrose Court and Derek A. Coley, 19, of the 8800 block of Roll Right Court - posted bonds last week of $15,000 and $5,000, respectively.

Police also arrested a ninth suspect in the raid, Dwayne Monroe, 20, of an unspecified address, who was wanted on an arrest warrant for failure to appear as a witness in a federal case in Washington, according to court documents.

Monroe was not charged with any drug violations.

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