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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Pocomoke cocaine bust nets four suspects

By Greg Ellison, Staff Writer (Oct. 12, 2017) Four suspects were arrested and face multiple charges for allegedly running a drug distribution ring from several locations in Pocomoke. The Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, along with a slew of other departments, executed search and seizure warrants at four residences in Pocomoke on Sept. 27. The arrests were the culmination of a three-month undercover investigation into cocaine trafficking in the area, police officials said. During the late September raids, law enforcement seized about 36 grams of cocaine, 30 grams of cannabis, one gram of MDMA (ecstasy), more than $1,400 in cash, and a pair of loaded firearms. Various items believed to be stolen property were also discovered during the bust. Lt. Ed Schreier, with the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, said the months-long drug sting is ongoing. “If the investigation leads to subsequent information that warrants arrests, then those arrests will be made,” he said. The Worcester County Bureau of Investigations is conducting a parallel investigation regarding the suspected stolen property recovered. Among the suspects arrested were Laquan Townsned, 23, of Pocomoke, who was charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and cannabis, two counts of possession of a firearm by a prohibited individual and possession of a firearm during drug trafficking. Townsend is facing 11 felony charges and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Snow Hill District Court on Oct. 24. Wayne Collins Jr., 36, of Horntown, Virginia, is facing a felony count for possession with intent to distribute narcotics and two misdemeanor counts of narcotics possession. Collins was previously scheduled for a trial on Oct. 17 in Snow Hill District Court for two counts of misdemeanor possession of narcotics from a prior arrest this April. Aaron Brown, 31, of Pocomoke, is facing one count of felony distribution of narcotics and misdemeanor possession of narcotics. He has a motion hearing scheduled for Dec. 1 and a jury trail will take place on Jan. 3 in Snow Hill Circuit Court. Marvin Handy Jr., 41, of Pocomoke, who was charged with misdemeanor possession of narcotics, is scheduled to go on trial on Dec. 12 in Snow Hill District Court. Other agencies assisting in the long-term undercover investigation were: Homeland Security Investigations, the Maryland State Police Gang Unit East, the Maryland State Apprehension Team, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office STAR Team and Patrol Division, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation, Wicomico and Somerset counties Narcotics Task Forces, the Pocomoke Police Department, the Ocean City Police Narcotics and Special Enforcement Unit and the Worcester County State’s Attorney Office. Schreier said the coordination among law enforcement was key to uncovering the suspected drug activity. “It is a fantastic opportunity to work with other allied agencies to share information and work in harmony to achieve the goal of reducing the illegal drugs that are so readily supplied to members of our community,” he said. “Working together has a higher impact on success.”