image description

Major drug bust leads to 14 locals arrested

May 24th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland State Police Heroin Investigative Unit, in conjunction with the Allegany County Narcotics Task Force, identified and arrested members of a drug trafficking organization distributing fentanyl, heroin and cocaine in Allegany County and surrounding areas.

The investigation, which began in 2018, identified John James Howard, 33, of Baltimore, as the leader, supervisor, financier and manager of an illegal drug network which spanned from Baltimore City to Allegany County. Howard faces 109 drug-related charges after the Allegany County grand jury returned an indictment against him on May 15, 2019.

During the week of May 14, 2019, investigators from the Maryland State Police and Allegany County Narcotics Task Force served search warrants in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Allegany County related to the investigation. During the course of the investigation it was learned fentanyl/heroin and crack cocaine was being transported from Baltimore and stored in Allegany County. The organization would then distribute the controlled substances at locations throughout the county.

In addition to Howard, 16 co-conspirators were also indicted by the grand jury related to their roles in the drug trafficking organization. They are as follows:

 Dijhon Sanders, 26 of Baltimore, Maryland – 4 drug-related offenses to include distribution large amount, fentanyl

 Frank Edmonds, 56, of Baltimore, Maryland – 9 drug-related offenses including conspiracy to distribute large amount of heroin

 Cody Propst, 37, of Lavale, Maryland – 23 drug-related offenses

 Robert Johnson, 56, of Frostburg, MD – 17 drug-related offenses

 Melanie Johnson, 39, of Frostburg, Maryland – 17 drug-related offenses

 Reid Golden, 46, of Cumberland, Maryland – 7 drug-related offenses including common nuisance and distribution of heroin.

 Alyse Beck, 31, of Cumberland, Maryland – 5 drug-related offenses including conspiracy to distribute large amount


 Jonathon May, of Cumberland, Maryland – 5 drug-related offenses including conspiracy to

distribute large amount of illegal drugs

 Donnie Burley, 50, of Cumberland, Maryland – 2 drug-related offenses

 Ashlie Rhodes, 25, of Cumberland, Maryland – 9 drug-related offenses

 Dereck Lewis, 28, of Cumberland, Maryland – 4 drug-related offenses

 Crystal Vanmeter, 24, of Lavale, Maryland – 8 drug-related offenses

 Travis Keller, 47, of Cresaptown, Maryland – 16 drug-related offenses

 Gary Broadwater, 47, of Frostburg, Maryland – 7 drug-related offenses

 Brianna Lear, 22, of Westernport, Maryland – 1 drug-related offense

 Ashley Davis, 32, of Cresaptown, Maryland – 2 drug-related offenses


The Allegany County Narcotics Task Force is a cooperative effort between the Maryland State Police, Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and the Cumberland Police Department. Assisting in the investigation were members of the Maryland State Police Gang Enforcement Unit, Maryland State Police Strike Force 7, Maryland State Police S.T.A.T.E., Garrett County Drug Task Force, Maryland State Police – Criminal Enforcement Division Western Region, Maryland State Police Golden Ring and Cumberland Barracks, Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, West Virginia State Police, Cumberland Police Department, Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Baltimore City Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of drug-related overdose deaths in Maryland. This overall escalation is largely attributable to increases in opiate-related abuse. In response to the alarming trend, Governor Larry Hogan issued Executive Order 01.01.2015.12, creating the Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, charged with advising and assisting Governor Hogan in establishing a coordinated statewide and multi-jurisdictional effort to prevent, treat, and significantly reduce heroin and opioid abuse.

On December 1, 2015, the Governor’s Task Force released its final report, which included 33 recommendations to combat the heroin epidemic. One of those recommendations included the creation of a multi-jurisdictional Maryland State Police unit, known as the Heroin Investigation Unit, to focus on mid-to-upper-level heroin and opioid distribution operations.

The case remains under investigation…

7 Responses to “Major drug bust leads to 14 locals arrested”

  1. May 24, 2019 at 2:09 pm, Linmarie said:

    To the drug dealers, users, and those who transport them beware when you think that Mountain Maryland is too country to know about drugs. I promise you will be caught no question about it. Keep up the good work Task Force.


    • May 24, 2019 at 2:20 pm, Lav said:

      > Hear-Hear!


  2. May 24, 2019 at 5:14 pm, Paolo Primavera said:

    My parents educated me years ago (Over 65) and told me they would be the ruin of anyone dealing or using them. Oh so many wasted lives have proved them right. We need to stop this scourge that is over-whelming America and the World. We need each and everyone to educate themselves and their children, families, friends, neighbors, and enemies. We need to also reform our laws and judicial system. If we have doubters we need to give them the freedom we all enjoy and let them overdose and move on so that the good of the earth can grow and become even better. We need peace, love, everyone working together to save life and this planet.

    Please share any illegal drug happenings with law enforcement. Do it anonymously if you have any concerns, but DO IT. A letter, more or message will be your contribution in making this world a better one. Thank you kindly.


    • May 27, 2019 at 5:55 pm, mark said:

      > Throw people away like they’re garbage. How ‘Christian’ and Republican of you. Hopefully karma will take one of your family.


  3. May 25, 2019 at 12:35 pm, Babbs said:

    AMEN, Brother Paolo Primavera! Very well written!!

    First off, I believe we as parents, along with our educators and government officials have been doing everything we can to educate people; more importantly, our children. With all of the information that is out there, I do not understand how or even why a person would even try it for the first time!!
    I don’t know if this is true or not, but I heard that our EMS responders come to the same addicts aid more than once in a day to administer Narcan for a heroin overdose?? If this is true, I find it deeply disturbing, since my tax dollars are paying for every dose for someone who is not willing to address their addiction and seek help!!


  4. May 25, 2019 at 7:24 pm, Bob said:

    Our school system has taught the local children that they must glorify the negroes and welcome them with open legs and this is what we get for $105 million a year; some Baltimore spade controlling dozens of local hillbillies to do his bidding selling drugs to the local trash he seeks to destroy.


    • May 27, 2019 at 5:53 pm, mark said:

      > Too bad some ‘negro’ didn’t destroy your ignorant, worthless, white trash, bigoted P.O.S. self.


Leave a Reply

View Mobile Site