Crime

ELKTON — A surveillance operation focusing on a Lincoln Navigator as it traveled from Elkton to Bronx, N.Y. and then back led to investigators confiscating more than one pound of cocaine with an estimated wholesale value of $20,000, according to Cecil County District Court records.

It also led to the arrests of these three suspects: Troy Lee Neal, 41, of the 100 block of East Village Road in Elkton; Kevin Purnell Johnson Jr., 36, of the 600 block of Elk Mills Road near Elkton; and Mark Anthony Williams, 51, of the 100 block of Elk Chase Drive in Elkton, court records show.

The three men are each charged with importing cocaine into the state, possession of a large amount of cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine, according to court records.

Neal, Johnson and Williams remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond on Tuesday, a day after their bail review hearings, court records show.

The seven-hour-long surveillance operation was conducted from Saturday night into early Sunday morning by Cecil County Drug Task Force (CCDTF) agents and Maryland State Police Special Investigation Section (SIS) members, police reported.

It marked the culmination of an “extensive investigation in which Neal, Johnson and Williams were observed involved in suspected drug transactions,” police said.

Based on information gained from that investigation, police added, Cecil County Circuit Court Administrative Judge Keith A. Baynes granted the drug agents a search warrant for Neal’s residence on East Village Drive on June 3.

The surveillance operation started at approximately 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, with investigators monitoring a black Lincoln Navigator driven by Neal and occupied by Johnson and Williams as it departed from Neal’s East Village Road residence, police reported.

“Surveillance indicated Neal’s Lincoln traveled to The Bronx in New York, a known source area for cocaine,” court records allege.

Neal’s Lincoln arrived at that location in The Bronx at about 10 p.m. Saturday and then at 11:53 p.m., less than one hour later, it left and traveled south toward Maryland, police reported.

At 2:05 a.m. on Sunday, the Lincoln arrived back at Neal’s residence and, also based on surveillance, Neal and Johnson got out of that vehicle along with two women, police said.

At the same time, police added, a white Nissan sedan pulled up in front of Neal’s residence, and Williams got out of that vehicle – before he, Neal and Johnson entered Neal’s residence.

Then at 2:12 a.m., some seven minutes later, CCDTF agents and SIS members raided Neal’s residence, court records show.

During the court-approved search of that residence, investigators found and confiscated 500 grams of “compressed suspected cocaine, several bags of suspected marijuana, an operational digital scale and several cellular telephones,” court records allege.

There are 453 grams in a pound, meaning the total weight of the confiscated suspect cocaine is slightly more than one pound and one ounce.

“The approximate wholesale value of the cocaine seized was $20,000,” according to court records, which further allege that, based on the lead investigator’s training, knowledge and experience, “Neal, Johnson and Williams possessed the suspected cocaine with the intention to distribute.”

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