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Elkton-area traffic stop nets heroin, meth, pot and one arrest

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Crime scene tape

ELKTON — A traffic stop near Elkton led to the arrest of a Cecilton man after investigators confiscated nearly one ounce of suspect heroin mixed with fentanyl, a quarter-ounce of methamphetamine, an ounce of marijuana and other evidence, according to Cecil County District Court records.

Investigators identified the suspect as Hunter Dakota Gatewood, 25, of the 200 block of Water Street, court records show.

Hunter is facing 14 charges, including possession of heroin/fentanyl with intent to distribute and possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, according to court records, which further indicate that Gatewood remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond early Wednesday night, after his bail review hearing earlier that day.

Dfc. Brian Bravo of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office made the traffic stop at approximately 9 p.m. on Monday on Augustine Herman Highway (Route 213) near Walter Boulden Street, after noticing that a 2018 Chevrolet Malibu had a malfunctioning front headlight, police reported.

Gatewood was a front-seat passenger in that car, which was occupied by three other men, including the driver, according to police. Based on a court records search, investigators did not file criminal charges against the driver and his two back-seat passengers.

Bravo dispatched CCSO Sr. Deputy Joseph Cunningham and his specially trained scent dog, K9 Ares, after “detecting a strong odor of raw marijuana” coming from inside the car, police reported.

The deputy arrested Gatewood at the traffic stop scene, after learning that Elkton Police Department investigators wanted Gatewood on an outstanding warrant charging him with robbery and second-degree assault relating to an April 8 incident, police said.

At the outset of the traffic stop, police added, Gatewood twice gave the deputy a fake name of “River Gatewood,” before revealing his real identity after Bravo found computer records that indicated otherwise and then asked the question a third time.

Ares alerted to the presence of illegal drugs, specifically on the front passenger side door, where Gatewood had been seated, while performing a sniff scan outside the vehicle, police reported.

Under the front-passenger seat that had been occupied by Gatewood, investigators found a Champion waist bag that contained a zippered pouch holding six “bundles” of suspect heroin mix with fentanyl, with each bundle holding several baggies of the drug, and a quarter-ounce of suspect crystal meth, court records allege.

Also inside that waist bag, investigators found a glass jar holding one ounce of suspect marijuana, and a digital scale, according to charging documents.

In addition, searchers found an Altoids mints tin under Gatewood’s seat, albeit closer to the rear passenger seat, police said. That tin held 16 suspect oxycodone pills, police added.

Investigators also found a small amount of suspect cocaine in a baggie in the area of the front-passenger seat, police reported.

During a strip-search of Gatewood, after taking him to CCSO’s headquarters near Elkton, investigators confiscated a baggie containing a small amount of suspect marijuana from the front pocket of his sweatshirt, court records allege.

In all, investigators seized 71 baggies of suspect heroin/fentanyl, with 57 of them stamped with the street brand name “BIG DOG” and the remaining 14 marked with a “VERSACE” stamp, according to court records, which further indicate that the suspect heroin/fentanyl had a total weight of 25 grams, which translates to nearly an ounce. There are 28 grams in an ounce.

The weight of the suspect marijuana was 28.5 grams; the confiscated suspect crystal meth weighed 7 grams and the seized suspect cocaine weighed one gram, court records show.

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