NORTH EAST — A bounty hunter did not find his wanted man when he entered a residence near North East early Thursday morning, but police say he discovered something else that made his trip worthwhile — more than 600 bags of heroin.
The bondsman also found a sawed-off shotgun and a .22-caliber revolver, according to the Maryland State Police, which confiscated the heroin and firearms.
Now the man who lives at that home in the 100 block of North Main Street Extended — investigators have identified Will Pettis III, 68, as the suspect — is facing eight drug charges, police said, adding that MSP troopers took him into custody several moments later after the bounty hunter detained him and called authorities.
The list of charges against Pettis includes possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm while trafficking drugs and maintaining a common nuisance, according to Cecil County District Court records.
Pettis, who is scheduled for an Oct. 4 preliminary hearing, remained in the Cecil County Detention Center on Thursday night in lieu of $50,000 bond, court records show.
The bounty hunter entered the dwelling about 3:45 a.m. Thursday because he was tracking down a defendant who reportedly had disappeared on a bail that had been posted either by the bounty hunter or by the bail bonds company for whom he works, police said.
Police had not provided the name of that bounty hunter or his bondsman company, as of Thursday night.
Bounty hunters have more latitude than police officers when tracking someone, including entering residences without warrants. Information on whether the bounty hunter barged into the residence or was allowed into it was unavailable, as of Thursday night.
“When he entered the residence, he stumbled upon five large logs of heroin that were sitting out in plain view,” said MSP Sgt. James Pruski, who is assigned to the North East Barrack. “I don’t think he got the guy he was looking for, but what he did find was this large stash of heroin.”
The weight of the five logs of heroin was unavailable, as of Thursday night. Approximately 650 small bags of the drug made up the logs, police reported.
“Large quantities of heroin are packaged that way. They (the smaller bags) are lumped together into what looks like logs,” Pruski explained.
MSP officials contacted the Cecil County Drug Task Force, which is participating in the investigation.