Nine people were indicted on charges of participating in a drug trafficking organization across two counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Maryland State Police announced Tuesday.
The state and federal investigation started three years ago with a tip made to a state trooper assigned to the Caroline County Drug Task Force. The ongoing investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 18 kilograms of cocaine, 2.7 kilograms of heroin/fentanyl, 5.9 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, 170 pounds of marijuana and 34 firearms. Police also recovered money from the drug operation but did not specify the dollar amount.
The street value of the seized drugs is estimated to be more than $1 million, Maryland State Police Lt. Adam Howard said at a news conference.
Police charged Michael Anthony Holland, 36, of Hurlock, Justin Spain, 41, of Lanham, and George Lovern Williams Jr., 39, of Federalsburg with acting as “drug kingpins,” a state offense for supervising and distributing large amounts of narcotics.
Police say Spain is the main supplier of drugs to the operation, which spanned from Caroline and Dorchester counties to Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, along with parts of Delaware and the mid-Atlantic. Howard said investigators in the case are working with law enforcement in other states and countries to track down other suppliers and narcotic manufacturers who sold to Spain.
Six other people were charged with distributing drugs and other drug and firearm offenses: Margerette Derosiers, 28, of Federalsburg; Andre Luther Woolford, 33, of Hurlock; Joseph Archie Spain III, 44, of Preston; Michelle Lynn Spain, 48, of Preston; James Eugene Simms, 36, of Great Mills; and George Alfred Butler, 56, of Federalsburg.
Detectives searched 11 homes associated with the nine defendants, where they recovered the narcotics and firearms, including some untraceable “ghost guns.” Caroline County State’s Attorney Joe Riley called the number of drugs recovered during the search “staggering” and described the bust as the largest he’s seen in his tenure as state’s attorney.
“In this one operation, a half kilogram of fentanyl was taken in and 2.2 kilograms of heroin were taken in. According to the DEA, that’s enough fentanyl to kill 250,000 people. And when you mix it with the heroin, that’s enough fatal doses to kill every individual on the Eastern Shore in Maryland,” Riley said.
The nine defendants are being held without bond.