Millville drug raid evidence

Ocean View police, with the support of the Delaware State Police and South Bethany police, raided a home in Millville on May 6 after reports of alleged drug sales in the area. They seized weapons, as well as suspected drug proceeds, paraphernalia and drugs, and arrested three people.

Three Millville residents — a 52-year-old man, a 19-year-old woman and a 16-year-old boy — were arrested this week and charged with maintaining a drug property, endangering a child and related offenses, according to Ocean View Police Chief Ken McLaughlin.

The arrests were made after Ocean View police raided a home on Flint Court in the Murray’s Haven neighborhood of Millville on Wednesday, May 6, as a result of an investigation into unlawful drug sales in the Ocean View, Millville and lower Sussex County areas, McLaughlin said.

Delaware State Police troopers and South Bethany police officers assisted.

The investigation began after Ocean View police received a complaint about children in Ocean View using and buying marijuana, McLaughlin said.

Drugs were allegedly being sold to children as young as 10, 11 and 12 years old, including psilocybin mushrooms, also known as “magic mushrooms” or psychedelic mushrooms, which McLaughlin said produce a kind of high comparable to that of LSD, or “acid.”

“They’re very dangerous. These little kids are taking this stuff,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin called on local residents to alert police if they suspect drug deals are taking place. Calls can remain anonymous.

“You have got to help us. If nothing else, pick up the phone. Make the call. We need everybody to stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough. We don’t want you here. Don’t do this in our community and our neighborhood.’ Then we’ll do our part,” he said.

“What we’re doing in Ocean View is concentrating on the dealer. That’s our target. It is always the dealers. As far as the users, we encourage them to seek help,” the chief said.

After receiving the complaint, officers immediately launched an investigation and quickly identified the alleged source of the drugs, he said.

The investigation resulted in the seizure of psilocybin mushrooms weighing 8.6 grams, 235 grams of marijuana, handguns and $2,310 in cash, McLaughlin said.

Arrested were 52-year-old Ronald E. Ott, 19-year-old Jarren L. Cropper and the 16-year-old juvenile.

“COVID-19 is stealing the headlines, but we still have a very serious drug problem in Sussex County, all across the county. We’re still in the midst of an opioid epidemic,” McLaughlin pointed out. “We’re working hard to continue to combat that at the local level, in conjunction with all the other problems we have to deal with related to COVID-19.

“That drug problems still exists,” he said. “It’s very real. It’s in our community. Our children are at risk. This arrest is a fine example.

“We were able to act very quickly on this. We got a tip that some young children had gotten hold of some drugs and were using them here in Ocean View. We were able to dig into it really quickly,” McLaughlin said.

Ott was charged with one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, two counts of manufacture-deliver-possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 2 quantity, one count of possession of a controlled substance in Tier 2 quantity, one count of maintaining a drug property, two counts of possession-purchase-own-control of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited, one count of manufacture-deliver-possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance in Tier 1 quantity, second-degree conspiracy and endangering the welfare of a child. He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution on $29,000 cash bond.

Cropper was charged with one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, two counts of manufacture-deliver-possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 2 quantity, one count of possession of a controlled substance in Tier 2 quantity, one count of manufacture-deliver-possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance in Tier 1 quantity, second-degree conspiracy, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was released on a $29,000 unsecured bond.

The juvenile was charged with one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, two counts of manufacture-deliver-possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance in Tier 2 quantity, one count of possession of a controlled substance in Tier 2 quantity, one count of manufacture-deliver-possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance in Tier 1 quantity, second-degree conspiracy, endangering the welfare of a child, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The juvenile was incarcerated in a juvenile detention facility, being held on a $29,000 cash bond.

Staff Reporter

Veteran news reporter Susan Canfora has written for many newspapers and held positions ranging from managing editor to her favorite, news reporter. She joined the Coastal Point in June 2019. She teaches college writing, tutors and professionally edits.