- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
St. Mary’s and federal law officers teamed up to arrest more than 50 people, primarily on drug charges, during a roundup last week dubbed “Operation Undivided Attention,” and the suspects have begun appearing in court for bond hearings.
The crackdown’s objective was to dismantle drug distribution networks, according to St. Mary’s narcotics detectives, along with disrupting the county’s overall drug trade, gaining intelligence on criminal activity, detaining violent repeat offenders and ensuring registration compliance by sexual offenders.
Raids conducted in Lexington Park and Great Mills during the enforcement operation seized marijuana, cocaine and PCP, according to investigators, along with drug paraphernalia, money, a loaded handgun and, at one residence, a safe containing several hundred dollars worth of cocaine, money and a digital scale.
“We’ve been on point,” sheriff’s Capt. Daniel Alioto said Tuesday. “It puts us in a position where no one in the drug trade is comfortable. By doing that, we hope to generate some other things.”
Alioto said potential sex-offender violations arise from adults engaging in drug activity with younger people, and that last week’s enforcement operation assisted those ongoing investigations.
“It was a tremendous success,” the captain said.
Among the indicted drug suspects taken into custody, Stephen Louell Morgan, 43, of Lexington Park was jailed Friday in lieu of $50,000 bond on charges including distributing cocaine last March in Great Mills and distributing cocaine last February in Lexington Park.
William Joseph Kuykendall, 33, of Lexington Park was jailed in lieu of 10 percent of $25,000 bond on indictments charging him with distributing cocaine last July and August in Lexington Park.
Vaughn Jerome Chase, 47, of Lexington Park was jailed in lieu of 10 percent of $25,000 bond on charges of distributing oxycodone last January in Lexington Park and distributing cocaine last March.
A $5,000 bond requirement was set for the pretrial release of Tony Raymond Bean, 35, of California after his arrest on charges of distributing oxycodone last January and March in California.
St. Mary’s Circuit Judge David W. Densford ordered that if the suspects are released on bond, they must report to the division of parole and probation and be placed on pretrial supervision.
Participants in the enforcement operation also included members of the sheriff’s Emergency Services Team and Lexington Park COPS unit, the Baltimore Field Office of the FBI, St. Mary’s correctional officers, parole and probation agents, the county’s state’s attorney’s office, sheriff’s dog handlers, detectives, patrol officers and members of the Sexual Offender Compliance Unit.