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Five charged in alleged heroin-distribution ring

March 20, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Five people were charged Monday, March 19, in what police allege was a heroin-distribution ring operated out of this house on Day Road east of Hagerstown.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Five people, including a Hagerstown man, were charged Monday with multiple drug and other counts in what police allege was a heroin-distribution ring being operated out of a home east of Hagerstown, the Washington County Narcotics Task Force said Tuesday.

Armed with a search warrant, members of the task force and the Washington County Special Response Team on Monday raided a house at 2059 Day Road that they believe was being used to distribute heroin, according to the statement of probable cause filed in Washington County District Court.

That house is next door to the Hagerstown Treatment Center, a clinic that offers methadone therapy, at 2053 Day Road, according to Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore.

Mullendore said Tuesday night that there was no known connection between the treatment center and the alleged heroin operation.

Jamel Kashawn Epps of 424 Salem Ave. in Hagerstown, Tyquell Jermaine Bannister of 1 St. Paul St. in Brooklyn, N.Y., and Damon Kenyetta Buchanan of 1164 Perkiomen Ave. in Reading, Pa., were charged with one count each of possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a common nuisance, theft, possession of a regulated firearm and possession of a firearm during a drug-related crime, according to a task force news release.

Juanisha Antionette Odom of 1024 Stokes St. in Rocky Mount, N.C., was charged with one count each of possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a common nuisance, theft and possession of a regulated firearm.

Jeremy Paul Emmons of 326 Ravenwood Drive in Warfordsburg, Pa., was charged with distribution of heroin, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The search warrant for the house was obtained as the result of an ongoing investigation of Emmons, whom police identified as the lessee of the house. Emmons was allowing other people, particularly Epps and Buchanan, to stay at the house to help operate the drug ring, the court documents alleged.

Officers saw Epps and Buchanan leave the residence and drive away in a Chevrolet Tahoe with a Tennessee registration at 8:57 p.m. Monday, the charging documents said. Less than five minutes later, police pulled over the vehicle and detained the two men.

A search during the stop turned up cellphones and $525 in cash, the documents said. Police noted that the Tahoe had been spotted at the house on Day Road during previous surveillance.

Other agents who were inside the house at around the same time found Bannister and Odom in the living room, the documents said. Police said Bannister told them that he had been staying at the house for a few days, while Odom said she arrived before the raid.

Officers found a variety of items in the home, including a .38-caliber handgun reported stolen from Pennsylvania in 2011, more than $5,000 in currency and 13 individually wrapped plastic bags containing a tan substance that tested positive for heroin, the documents said.

Police said they arrested Emmons at a gas station on Dual Highway.

All five people were taken to the Washington County Detention Center.

On Tuesday, bond-review hearings were held for them in district court.

The bond was set at $115,000 for Bannister and Buchanan; $50,000 for Emmons; $35,000 for Odom; and $25,000 for Epps.

Staff Writer Dave McMillion contributed to this story.

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