Howard County police announced yesterday that they have arrested nine members of a drug ring they believe sold between $200,000 and $300,000 worth of cocaine per month in Columbia during the past year. Authorities said they were seeking three more suspects.
The arrests of one woman and five men from Columbia as well as three Baltimore men took place between Friday and Monday and culminated a 10-month undercover investigation into what police said was a drug organization operating in the villages of Harper's Choice, Long Reach, Owen Brown and Wilde Lake.
Sherry Llewellyn, a police spokeswoman, said the investigation relied on confidential informants, electronic surveillance and undercover detectives.
Pearl Atkinson-Stewart, the Columbia Council representative for the Owen Brown community, said that at the encouragement of police, members of her community monitored suspicious vehicle activity.
"People see when you have a lot of cars coming in and out of your development," Atkinson-Stewart said. "They will write down the license plates of people from out of town, those that they know are not the owner ... they know who the owners' cars are."
Arrested on a variety of charges, including distribution, were James Anthony Jr., 31, Antiwan James Jones, 21, and Sean Michael Jones, 28, all of Baltimore; and Stanley Charles Chalk Jr., 27, Faaizah Nisar Chaudhry, 24, Gregory Eugene O'Dell, 36, Travis Hayden Stewart, 30, Leah K. Vanamburg, 25, and Marcus Allen White, 21, all of Columbia.