Sussex County drug-trafficking investigation nets 40 arrests

Date Published: 
Aug. 18, 2017

A multi-jurisdictional investigation into an illegal drug trafficking organization, involving multiple subjects, conducted by the Delaware State Police and Delaware Department of Justice, has concluded with the arrest or indictment of 40 individuals on more than 190 criminal charges. Police said the organization was responsible for the distribution of various amounts of cocaine and heroin in the last nine months.

Operation “Golden Horseshoe” concluded on June 14, police noted. The Sussex County Drug Unit and the Delaware Department of Justice organized and conducted the operation with the assistance of the Sussex County Governor’s Task Force, Kent and New Castle county drug units, Kent and New Castle county Governor’s Task Force, the Delaware State Police Special Operations Response Team (SORT), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Delaware Department of Corrections, Seaford Police Department, Georgetown Police Department and Delaware Probation & Parole, along with the Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey National Guard.

During the operation, police said, investigators used numerous investigative techniques to identify members involved in violent crime and the distribution of large amounts of cocaine and heroin in Sussex County.

Detectives said they were able to establish that the illegal drug trafficking organization was allegedly headed by Lamont M. Johnson, Antonio P. Holder, James J. Jones and Yusef L. Matthews, all of whom have been charged with directing a significant cocaine and heroin network in western Sussex County — primarily the Coverdale area.

Additionally, Sonia E. Chavez (a.k.a. Maria Zakrociemski) was identified as allegedly organizing and distributing a significant quantity of heroin in the Oak Orchard and Long Neck areas.

The operation involved the execution of search warrants at 11 different residential locations throughout Sussex County, which resulted in the arrest or indictment of 40 individuals on numerous drug and weapons offenses. The searches included locations on Evans Drive, Mill Park Drive, Booker T. Washington Street and Elizabeth Cornish Landing in Bridgeville, on Mount Joy Road and Bay Farm Road near Millsboro, and the Relax Inn in Laurel.

The total seizure amount during the investigation included: $156,124 in suspected drug proceeds, 278.95 grams of suspected powder cocaine, 12.15 grams of suspected crack cocaine, 2,262 bags of suspected heroin (15.834 grams), 157.52 grams of marijuana and a Glock 9mm pistol. Various items of suspected stolen property were also recovered.

Charged in the operation were:

• Lamont M. Johnson, 38 of Bridgeville: Possession with Intent to Deliver (PWITD) a Controlled Substance in Tier 4 quantity; Possesses a controlled substance in a Tier 5 quantity; Conspiracy 2nd (six counts); Money Laundering; Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance (six counts); Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance – Second Offense; Possession Drug Paraphernalia. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $637,200 cash bond.

• Antonio P. Holder, 28, of Bridgeville: PWITD Controlled Substance (three counts); Conspiracy 2nd (four counts); Money Laundering; Possession Firearm by Person Prohibited; PWITD Controlled Substance Tier 4 quantity; Possession Controlled Substance Tier 5 quantity; PWITD Controlled Substance Tier 2 quantity. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $659,000 cash bond.

• James Jones, 28, of Bridgeville: Possession of a Controlled Substance in Tier 5 quantity; PWITD Controlled Substance in Tier 4 quantity; Money Laundering (two counts); PWITD Controlled Substance (three counts); Conspiracy 2nd (three counts). He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $194,000 cash bond.

• Yusef L. Matthews, 40, of Seaford: PWITD a controlled substance in Tier 4 quantity, PWITD a controlled substance (three counts), Possess a controlled substance in a Tier 5 quantity, Conspiracy 2nd (three counts), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (two counts), Criminal Solicitation 2nd. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $50,000.00 secured bond.

• Sonia Chavez, a.k.a. Maria Zakrociemski, 65, of Millsboro: PWITD a controlled substance (27 counts), Conspiracy 2nd (25 counts), Criminal Solicitation 2nd (six counts), PWITD a controlled substance in a Tier 2 quantity, Tampering with physical evidence, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (two counts). She was committed to Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution (DJBWCI) on $242,400 cash bond.

• Patrisha Cannon, 32, of Laurel: Possession Controlled Substance Tier 5 quantity; PWITD Controlled Substance Tier 4 quantity; Conspiracy 2nd; Possession Drug Paraphernalia (two counts). She was held at DJBWCI in default of $122,400 cash bond.

• Donald Carey, 28, of Lincoln: Possession Controlled substance Tier 3 quantity; Possession Drug Paraphernalia (two counts); Conspiracy 2nd (three counts) PWITD Controlled Substance Tier 2 quantity (two counts); Criminal Solicitation 2nd. He was held at SCI in default of $85,000 bond.

• Nyier Starks, 24, of New Castle: PWITD a controlled substance, Conspiracy 2nd. He was held at Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in default of $12,000 cash bond.

• Duayne L. Thompson, 34, of Seaford: PWITD a controlled substance, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. He was held at SCI in default of $15,000 cash bond.

• Odrift M. Ulysses, 33, of Laurel: Second Offense PWITD a control substance (two counts), Possess a controlled substance in a Tier 1 quantity with two aggravating factors, Possession of Marijuana – Subsequent Offense, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (two counts), PWITD a controlled substance (two counts), Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd, Possess/Consume Marijuana Personal Use Quantity 21 or older – Civil Violation. He was held at SCI in default of $61,000 cash bond.

• Lavocia I. Callahan, 46, of Millsboro: PWITD a controlled substance, Conspiracy 2nd. She was held at SCI in default of $10,000 secured bond.

• Pamela J. Bergman, 56, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription (two counts), Criminal Solicitation 2nd (two counts), Conspiracy 2nd (two counts). She was held at Delores J. Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in default of $2,500 secured bond.

• Robert Levan, 34, of Harrington: PWITD a controlled substance (two counts), 3rd Offense — PWITD a control substance (two counts), Tampering with physical evidence, Conspiracy 2nd Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (three counts). He was released after posting $53,000 secured bond.

• Lexus M. Bailey, 21, of Blades: PWITD Controlled Substance; Conspiracy 2nd. He was released on unsecured bond.

• Leslie A. Johnson, 40, of Seaford: PWITD a controlled substance (five counts), Conspiracy 2nd (four counts), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (two counts); released on unsecured bond.

• Lakota S. Norwood, 24, of Harbeson: PWITD a controlled substance, Conspiracy 2nd; released on unsecured bond.

• Jose A. Serpa, 37, of Bridgeville: PWITD a controlled substance, Possession of a controlled substance in a Tier 3 quantity, Possess a controlled substance Tier 3 quantity and an aggravating factor, PWITD a controlled substance w/ an aggravating factor, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was released on unsecured bond.

• Donshell T. Weston, 32, of Seaford: PWITD a controlled substance (two counts), 3rd Offense - PWITD a control substance (two counts), Tampering with physical evidence, Conspiracy 2nd Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (three counts). He was released on bond.

• Todd D. Culver, 49, of Greenwood: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription w/aggravating factor, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (two counts), Driving While Suspended, Failure to have insurance identification in possession. He was released on bond.

• Keith A. Dockins, 58, of Salisbury, Md.: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription w/aggravating factor, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (two counts), Failure to Signal. He was released on bond.

• Shaina Andell, 29, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription w/aggravating factor, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. She was released on unsecured bond.

• James V. Bryant, 61, of Ocean View: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription (five counts), Criminal Solicitation 2nd (five counts), Conspiracy 2nd (five counts). He was released on bond.

• Karin M. Flowers, 36, of Georgetown: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. She was released on unsecured bond.

• April A. Grant, 35, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. She was released on unsecured bond.

• Keith A. Grew, 51, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. He was released on unsecured bond.

• William J. Hendrickson, 61, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. He was released on unsecured bond.

• Chad E. Hopper, 33, of Frankford: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. He was released on unsecured bond.

• Tiffany R. Klinger, 38, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. She was released on unsecured bond.

• Colleen J. Patterson, 57, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. She was released on unsecured bond.

• David G. Richards, 48, of Rehoboth Beach: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. He was released on unsecured bond.

• Joseph Unsworth, 43, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. He was released on unsecured bond.

• Raymond H. Willis, 46, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. He was released on unsecured bond.

• Brad A. Wilt, 35, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd. He was released on unsecured bond.

• Robin A. Wriston, 52, of Rehoboth Beach: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd; released on unsecured bond.

Additionally, the DSP is asking for the public’s assistance in locating the following suspects:

• Demetrio R. Stewart, 37, of Milford: PWITD a controlled substance, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd.

• Vera E. Curtis, 38, of Dagsboro: PWITD a controlled substance (two counts), Conspiracy 2nd (two counts).

• Sarah A. Seamen, 55, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd.

• Larry C. Reich, 47, of Palmyra, Pa.: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription, Criminal Solicitation 2nd, Conspiracy 2nd.

• Ernest M. Lofland, 50, of Frankford: PWITD a controlled substance, Conspiracy 2nd.

• Brian K. Barlow, 33, of Millsboro: Possession of a Controlled/Counterfeit Substance except Human Growth Hormone w/o prescription (two counts), Criminal Solicitation 2nd (two counts), Conspiracy 2nd (two counts).

“Heroin is a major contributor to criminal activity in Sussex County and throughout Delaware,” said David Hume, Sussex County prosecutor at the Department of Justice. “The State Police and DOJ deputies, investigators and staff have worked tirelessly to address it, and Attorney General Denn has made dealing with substance use issues a priority.

“Heroin, fentanyl and mixtures of these drugs are a danger to public safety for drug users, police, emergency personnel, and others who may come into contact with them. Mere contact with these substances can be fatal,” he added.

“Operation Golden Horseshoe dealt a significant blow to criminal organizations responsible for the presence of heroin and other dangerous drugs in Sussex County. In addition to our law enforcement partners at the Delaware State Police, I would like to recognize the contributions of Deputy Attorneys General Haley King and Michael Tipton for their continuing efforts in this case.”

“The success of this investigation demonstrates that it will take the collaborative efforts of all of our law enforcement partners and the cooperation and support of effected communities to target and dismantle drug organizations plaguing neighborhoods across our state” said Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr., superintendent of the Delaware State Police.

“Thank you to our troopers, prosecutors and all of our federal state and local law enforcement partners for their outstanding work on this investigation. All of our agencies remain committed to working with our communities to reduce violent crime and drug trafficking throughout the state of Delaware.”

If anyone has any information in reference to the location of the listed wanted subjects, they are being asked to contact Sgt. M. Dawson at (302) 752-3815. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or via the internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.