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Howard police make multiple drug arrests at Merriweather concert

A major drug bust at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia. Police seize cash and tanks of laughing gas at a concert, arresting 12 people accused of selling the chemical. Christie Ileto reports.

Howard County police arrested 12 suspects for nitrous oxide possession and distribution at and around a Phish concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion over the weekend.

Large amounts of cash, 32 nitrous oxide tanks and two vehicles were also seized during the concert on Aug. 15 as part of the investigation, police said.

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During patrols, officers saw a team of people operating in the area around the concert venue and nearby parking lots. Police said the organized group worked together to sell nitrous oxide, which is a chemical gas that produces mind-altering effects when inhaled.

The following suspects were arrested and charged with drug possession, possession with intent to distribute, possession for distribution, and paraphernalia possession: James Allen, 52, of Bronx, NY; Crystal Lynn Allison, 31, of Attleboro, MA; Nathaniel Banks, 23, of Providence, RI; Jose Miguel Curet, 24, of Lancaster, PA; Jim Henry Mackay, 32, of Attleboro, MA; Joseph Mondello, 34, of Manville, RI; Shawn Montrond, 22, of Providence, RI; Joshua Priest, 24, of Manheim, PA; Carmelo Rosario, 25, of Lancaster, PA; Carlos Ruiz, 25, of Bronx, NY; Victor Santos, 31, of Bronx, NY; Harry Rodriguez, 22, of Bronx, NY.

Police believe the members are a part of an organized group that is known to travel the east coast to distribute the drug at concerts.

While Allison, Curet, Priest and Ruiz have posted bond, the remaining individuals are being held at the Howard County jail on bond varying from $5,000 to $10,000.

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