Six people were arrested and more than $17,000 in cash was seized late Friday night and early Saturday morning, ending a one-year county police investigation into a suspected cocaine trafficking ring in theColumbia-Ellicott City area.

County police spokesman Sgt. Gary L.Gardner said those arrested were responsible for dealing about one kilo of cocaine a month.

"We believe they'd been dealing drugs in the area for the last 10years," Gardner said.

A kilogram of cocaine has a street value of$25,000.

County police arrested the six suspects using search andseizure warrants at two homes -- one in the 8500 block Spring Harvest Court in Ellicott City and one in the 10000 block Faulkner Ridge Circle in Columbia.

Arrests also were made in the 2000 block of Horseshoe Circle in Jessup, Anne Arundel County.

Those arrested were: Timothy J. O'Neill, 30, and Thomas G. O'Neill, 27, both of Spring Harvest Court; Gene R. Whichard, 28, of Horseshoe Circle; Bryan T. Jackson, 36, of Faulkner Ridge Circle; Gail Rose, 35, of 10000 block Olde Woods Way, Columbia; and Robert S. Jeffers, 27, of 10000 block Old Scaggsville Road, Laurel.

All were charged with distribution of cocaine except for Rose and Jeffers, who were charged with possession of cocaine.

Timothy O'Neill, Thomas O'Neill and Jackson all were released on unsecured bonds.

Rose and Jeffers were released on their own recognizance.

Along with the cash, police seized three ounces of cocaine, drug paraphernalia -- including a scale and packaging materials -- and two automobiles, a 1981 Saab and a 1989 Nissan.

"These were middle to upper-level drug dealers," said Gardner.

"Their profits probably grew significantly when they divided up and distributed the cocaine among their clients."

Gardner says that the investigation is ongoing and other arrests are likely in the near future.

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