HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ)— The Harford County sheriff’s office says a two-year undercover investigation has netted 15 people.
Christie Ileto has more on the Maryland drug smuggling ring with ties to California.
More than a dozen people arrested, 140 pounds of marijuana seized and 20 guns confiscated after Harford County sheriff’s office busted a drug smuggling operation that they say started with a single tip.
The 15 suspects face various charges, including possession, distribution and firearms: Terry Head, 33, of Edgewood; Goutumm Jayant Karapurkar, 25, of Middle River; Brian David Bell, 26, of Middle River; Bryan George Showalter, 25, of Bel Air, and Emeryville, Calif.; William Riggin Russell III, 26, of Emeryville, Calif.; Cody Adam McPherson, 21, of Towson; Allen Olaide Fadiora, 27, of Nottingham; Kason Wise Allah Stephens, 35, of Baltimore, and Brooklyn, NY; James Edward Bryant Jr., 39, of Edgewood; Frank Henry Buck, 36, of White Marsh; William Marshall Edwards, 33, of Joppa; Adrian Lamar Goodwin, 26, of Aberdeen; Reinaldo Rodriguez Jr., 37, of Abingdon; Dwight Narcis, 35, of Aberdeen; and Anthony Rashaw Brooks, 33, of Havre De Grace.
“Once we saw how widespread it was—with Harford and Baltimore counties—we wanted to get a bigger picture with the whole operation,” said Harford County Sheriff’s Lt. Lee Dunbar.
Lt. Dunbar says the task force focusing on two suspects from Aberdeen were led to more than a dozen others.
“Once we got on that wire tap in 2012, that brought us back to another group in Harford County who were also classmates at C. Milton Wright in 2005 and that was the group that had the source in Oakland, California that was bringing it back here,” Dunbar said.
Police say the suspects were flying from Baltimore to California, getting high-grade marijuana and then driving back to Maryland.
Law enforcement say it was at a Middle River residence that the suspects were bringing the high-grade marijuana from California. It all came to a head last October when a task force seized 57 pounds of marijuana in suitcases.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said one neighbor.
The neighbor wanted to remain anonymous but said he never suspected this was happening near his home.
“We were sitting in the living room [when the drug bust happened],” he said. “The sound of them kicking the door in…you could hear them yelling, `Everybody down!'”
Law enforcement says the group was making around $2,000 a pound of marijuana. Police also seized 14 vehicles and over $140,000 in cash.
Some of the 15 arrested are already behind bars; others are pending trial. They face charges of conspiracy, distribution and importing.