On Monday, June 8, a total of 18 individuals were arrested on drug charges in Maryland. 14 of those charged were allegedly involved in an operation in Silver Spring near a housing complex; the other four people charged were accused of trafficking drugs in District Heights in the area of a music studio on Cryden Way, according to a news report at WUSA 9.
The FBI, Prince George’s County police, and Montgomery County police made the announcement on Monday, revealing that 18 had been charged in what they called a “major drug bust.” Authorities arrested the defendants after two indictments returned by a federal grand jury were unsealed. Two businesses and 29 residences were searched, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland. The article claims the investigation had been going on for about a year.
One of the indictments charges four individuals with conspiring to distribute heroin and cocaine in the District Heights area. Two of the four, 36-year-old Anthony Niles and 30-year-old Abdul Hakim Sauda, are additionally charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine. Niles is allegedly the “director” of the operation in Prince George’s County.
The other indictment charged 14 individuals with conspiring to distribute crack (cocaine base), five kilograms or more of cocaine, and heroin. George Gee, a 37-year-old Beltsville resident, was accused of leading the heroin and crack cocaine operation near a housing complex in the 14000 block of Bel Pre Drive in Silver Spring. Authorities also revealed that some of the defendants stored drugs and drug proceeds at their homes. Of the 14 charged in this indictment, five were additionally charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances. They include George Gee, 30-year-old Ryan Snowden, 30-year-old Brandon Richardson, 62-year-old Joseph Miles, and 38-year-old Alfonso Salazar.
All 18 individuals arrested in the drug operation potentially face life in prison, however the mandatory minimum sentence is 10 years according to the news article. Gee, Miles, Niles, Richardson, Salazar, Sauda, and Snowden additionally face a maximum prison term of 20 years for distributing drugs.
Drug charges are extremely serious, whether an individual is accused of marijuana possession in a state where marijuana has not been legalized for recreational use, manufacturing methamphetamine or other substances, or distributing illicit drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Regardless of how serious or minor your situation may seem, speak with a highly skilled Michigan drug crime attorney in order to have the best chance of avoiding a conviction and serious criminal penalties.