DSP, state agencies bring down large-scale heroin ring
Following a two-year investigation, the Delaware State Police Sussex Drug Unit (SDU), Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and the Sussex County Attorney General’s Office have charged 13 individuals who were allegedly part of a criminal organization that engaged in large-scale heroin distribution and money laundering.
“The result of this investigation directly impacted the heroin distribution and money laundering in the state of Delaware,” said Sgt. Richard Bratz, director of public information for the DSP.
According to the DSP, the investigation, named “Duck Hunt,” revealed Deangelo McGlotten was the alleged ring leader for the heroin distribution in Kent and Sussex counties, along with his closest associates, Timothy Felix and Adrian Coverdale.
In addition to the heroin distribution network, police said the investigation revealed the illegal proceeds of the drug organization were allegedly being laundered by Salman Choudhary through casinos, businesses and personal properties. As a result of the investigation, 11 suspects were indicted by the Sussex County Grand Jury.
“The results were only possible with everyone providing information and support,” said Greg Nolt, director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement. “It began as a possible money-laundering case and evolved into one of the largest heroin seizures in state, along with other asset seizures throughout Sussex County, to include money, property and guns.
“The success of this operation was only possible with the full commitment of all our partners in law enforcement, along with those in the public and private sector. Thank you to everyone who assisted our efforts to reduce the impact that heroin has on our communities and remove violent criminals from our streets.”
DSP Sgt. Mark Dawson said monies collected from the sale of the illegal drugs were allegedly laundered through Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.
“The income from the transaction of the heroin — that money was then funneled and laundered through the casinos and other businesses throughout the state,” he said, noting that Choudhary and Sohail Zeeshan were the two who were allegedly laundering the funds.
The arrest operation was initiated with seven search-and-seizure warrants being executed throughout Kent and Sussex counties by the Delaware State Police Special Operations Response Team (SORT), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) SWAT, and the units of the Delaware State Police.
Police said the operation disrupted the flow of heroin into the communities of Kent and Sussex counties, as the organization allegedly supplied several drug markets in Sussex County, including Chandler Heights, Meadowbridge, Coverdale and Oak Orchard.
More than $1M in drugs seized, along with guns, cash and vehicles
In total, 13 suspects were charged with 77 criminal offenses as part of the overall investigation.
Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr., superintendent of Delaware State Police, said two search warrants were executed on two separate occasions during the investigation.
On Jan. 13, a search-and-seizure warrant was executed at Deangelo McGlotten’s residence, located on Progress School Road in Bridgeville. Another was executed on an Acura MDX linked to McGlotten. Evidence seized included 42,250 bags, or approximately 633 grams, of suspected heroin, $7,740 in cash, a 9-mm handgun that had been reported stolen and a Marlin 30-30 rifle.
On May 11, seven search-and-seizure warrants were executed, on Woodyard Road in Harrington, on Beach Highway in Greenwood, on Progress School Road in Bridgeville, on James Street in Georgetown, on Central Park Drive in Harrington, on South Washington Street in Milford and on Aspen Drive in Cheswold.
Evidence seized that day included 74,425 bags, or approximately 1,116 grams, of suspected heroin; $200,000, including cash and seized assets from numerous accounts; approximately $50,000 worth of jewelry; three Ruger 9-mm handguns; a Raven Arms .25-mm handgun; an M4 carbine rifle; and 23 vehicles, with a total value of approximately $250,000.
McQueen said the drug seizure on May 11 was one of the largest single seizures of pre-packaged heroin in state history, netting more than 74,000 bags of suspected heroin, which has a $740,000 street value. The total heroin seizure for the overall investigation was 116,675 bags, or approximately 1,749 grams, with a street value of $1,166,750.
Individuals indicted by the Sussex County Grand Jury who were arrested and charged included:
• Deangelo McGlotten, 31 of Felton, with a total of 17 charges: Manufactures, delivers, possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 4 quantity; Possesses a controlled substance in a Tier 5 quantity; Criminal Solicitation 2nd degree; Conspiracy 2nd degree; four counts of Money Laundering, Organized Crime and Racketeering; Fraud and false statements, makes and subscribes a false return statement document; Possess, Purchase, Own or Control a Firearm/Destructive Weapon If previously Convicted; Possess, Purchase, Own Controlled Firearm; Ammo by Person Prohibited of a Prior Violent Crime or Felony; Manufactures, delivers, possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 4 quantity; Possess a Controlled Substance in a Tier 5 Quantity; two counts of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; and Receiving a Stolen Firearm. McGlotten was committed to SCI in default of $1 million cash bond.
• Patrick Cirwithian, 30, of Greenwood, charged with Maintaining a Drug Property, Conspiracy 2nd degree, and Organized Crime and Racketeering. Cirwithian was being held in default of $350,000 cash bond.
• Adrian Coverdale, 34 of Blades, was charged with Manufactures, Delivers, possesses with intent to deliver a Controlled Substance in Tier 4 Quantity; Possesses a Controlled Substance in a Tier 5 Quantity; Criminal Solicitation 2nd degree; Conspiracy 2nd Degree; Money Laundering; and Organized Crime and Racketeering. Coverdale was being held in default of $400,000 cash bond.
• Timothy Felix, 30, of Dover was charged with Manufactures, Delivers, possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 4 quantity; Possessing a controlled substance in a Tier 5 quantity; two counts of Drug Dealing; Criminal Solicitation 2nd degree; Conspiracy 2nd degree; Money Laundering; and Organized Crime and Racketeering. Felix was being held in default of $750,000 cash bond.
• Tina Mosley, 51, of Greenwood, was charged with Maintaining Drug Property; Conspiracy 2nd degree; and Organized Crime and Racketeering. Mosley was being held in default of $750,000 cash bond.
• Salman Choudhary, 37, of Georgetown, was charged with Organized Crime and Racketeering; three counts of Money Laundering; two counts of Attempt to Evade or Defeat Tax; and two counts of Failure to File Return. Choudhary was being held in default of $1.7 million cash bond.
The following suspects were charged and arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court:
• Daniel Montalvo-Rosado, 29, of Wilmington, was charged with Manufactures, Delivers, possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 4 quantity; Possesses a controlled substance in a Tier 5 quantity; and Conspiracy 2nd degree. Montalvo-Rosado was being held in default of $200,000 cash bond.
• Christian Cortes, 27, of Wilmington, was charged with Operating an Unregistered Motor Vehicle; No Valid License; Fail Trans T/R; and No Insurance. Cortes was being held in default of $200,000 cash bond.
Suspects at large, being sought by police
A number of the suspects indicted by the Sussex County Grand Jury in connection with the investigation were not located and were wanted by police as of the Coastal Point’s May 18 press deadline, including:
• Linda McGlotten (Deangelo McGlotten’s mother), 49, of Milford, for Racketeering and Money Laundering.
• Reginald McGlotten, 30, of Millsboro, for Manufactures, Delivers, possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 4 quantity; Possesses a controlled substance in a Tier 5 quantity; Criminal Solicitation 2nd degree; Conspiracy 2nd degree; Money Laundering; Organized Crime and Racketeering.
• Obrien Morris, 26, of Millsboro for Manufactures, Delivers, possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 4 quantity; Possesses a controlled substance in a Tier 5 quantity; two counts of Criminal Solicitation 2nd degree; Conspiracy 2nd degree; Money Laundering; Organized Crime and Racketeering.
• Luis Manzanet-Garlaza, 27, of Milford, for Manufactures, Delivers, possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 4 quantity; Conspiracy 2nd degree; and Organized Crime and Racketeering. According to police, Manzanet-Garlaza has ties to Milford, as well as northern New Jersey, Florida and Puerto Rico.
• Sohail Zeeshan, 39, of Rehoboth Beach, for Organized Crime and Racketeering; three counts of Money Laundering; two counts of Fraud and False Statement, Makes and Subscribes a False Return Statement Document.
The Delaware State Police are requesting any information that may lead to the location and arrest of those suspects. If anyone has any information about the location of wanted suspects, 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, via the Internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”
AG emphasizes ongoing need for drug-treatment resources
“Heroin is a serious, serious problem in Delaware right now, and all of law enforcement is working together to combat it,” said Attorney General Matt Denn. “This operation puts a significant dent in the heroin traffic in the southern part of the state and is another example of how the close working relationship between our office and Delaware State Police, as well as other agencies, can make a difference and make Delaware a safer place.
“Along with the Delaware State Police who worked diligently on this case, I would also recognize Deputy Attorneys General Rebecca Anderson, Christopher Hutchison, Michael Tipton and Adam Gelof for leading the DOJ side of this very complicated and noteworthy investigation, and I thank State Prosecutor Kathy Jennings and Chief Sussex County Prosecutor Peggy Marshall for their leadership in this important case.”
Denn, who attended Tuesday’s press conference announcing the indictments, said that, while local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are doing their part to address the growing heroin epidemic, services are still needed.
“If that picture looks like a lot of heroin, it is,” he said of the image of the drugs seized by police. “There were over 116,000 bags of heroin seized in this operation. That means that these drug dealers thought there were buyers for 116,000 bags of heroin.
“We’re going to continue to diligently pursue operations like this one to try to disrupt trafficking operations and hold responsible those who put this poison into our communities, but until our state is successfully treating the addiction crisis that has ripped our state, the demand for these drugs is going to continue.”
Bratz said that those who were indicted still need to be prosecuted, and as the investigation is still active and ongoing, additional details related to the alleged crimes cannot be released.
A total of 13 agencies were involved in the investigation. Among the special units within the Delaware State Police that participated were the Sussex, Kent and New Castle County Drug Units; Sussex, Kent and New Castle County Governor’s Task Force Units; Intelligence Unit; and Special Operations Response Team.
Federal agencies that assisted with the investigation included the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Homeland Security Investigations Unit (HSI) and the National Guard Counter Drug Task Force.
Local and state law enforcement agencies participating included the Department of Correction, Probation & Parole, Georgetown Police Department, Seaford Police Department, Smyrna Police Department, Dover Police Department, Delaware Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement (DATE), Delaware Division of Revenue Criminal Investigative Unit, Dover Downs Casino and Surveillance Unit.
“This investigation targeted a criminal organization responsible for large-scale heroin distribution and money laundering in Kent and Sussex County. The presence of drugs and drug dealers in our communities invariably leads to an increase in crimes such as robberies and thefts and has a significant impact on the health and safety of our communities,” said McQueen.
“The success of this drug investigation would not have been realized if it were not for the cooperation between all of the agencies involved. The large amount of drugs seized and the drug traffickers that were arrested would have continued to plague our communities. Thank you to all of our troopers; all of the federal, state and local agencies; and the Department of Justice for their excellent teamwork and collaboration 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.”