ELKTON — A couple remained jailed Tuesday after investigators confiscated 100 baggies of heroin, a small amount of methamphetamine, an illegally-owned shotgun and other evidence during a traffic stop near Elkton over the weekend, according to Cecil County District Court records.
Investigators identified the suspects as Elkton-area residents Amber Anne Steele, 28, of the unit block of Glory Lane, and James Dexter Williams Jr., 31, of the 1400 block of East Old Philadelphia Road.
The investigation leading to their arrests started at approximately 2:45 p.m. Saturday, when Cpl. Bryan Shockey of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office stopped a 2008 Honda driven by Williams on eastbound East Old Philadelphia Road, police said. Shockey made the traffic stop after the license plate recognition system in his patrol vehicle alerted that the Honda’s license plate was suspended, police added.
After issuing citations to Williams, the deputy removed the suspended tags off the vehicle, in accordance with an MVA pick-up order, and then conducted an inventory search of the vehicle because it would have to be stored, police reported.
During the inventory search, Shockey found a plastic baggie containing heroin on the driver’s side floor, which led to a probable-cause search of the Honda, according to court records.
After noticing a crack on the gear shifter, Shockey pried off the cover and found 12 additional baggies of heroin and a small amount of methamphetamine hidden beneath it, court records allege.
Searchers then found seven prescription sedatives inside Steele’ purse, police said, adding that she did not have a prescription for that medication. Steele had been Williams’ front-seat passenger, police noted.
While investigators were searching the vehicle, Williams volunteered that he had a shotgun in the trunk, leading to the confiscation of .20 gauge shotgun, police reported. The shotgun had not been stolen; however, an additional computer check indicated that Williams is prohibited from possessing firearms due to final protective orders issued against him in Illinois and in Maryland, according to police.
Shockey arrested Steele and Williams after the vehicle search had been completed, police said. Steele was placed in the back of an assisting deputy’s patrol car, where she made an admission, police added.
“Steele uttered that she had methamphetamine hidden in her bra,” court records allege.
The deputy then removed Steele’s handcuffs and allowed her to reach into her bra, police reported. Steele retrieved a small amount of methamphetamine, which was inside a plastic container and also inside a folded dollar bill, and turned it over to the deputy, court records show.
The deputy handcuffed Steele again and returned her to the back seat of the patrol car, where she made another confession, police said.
“Steele then admitted that she also had a bundle (13 bags) of heroin in her bra. We then went through the process again to allow her to retrieve the contraband,” according to the statement of probable cause written by Shockey.
Once again, after surrendering the 13 baggies of heroin, Steele told the deputy that she did not have any more illegal drugs in her possession, police said.
However, during a strip search conducted by a female trooper at Maryland State’s Police’s North East Barrack a short time later, investigators found and confiscated 74 more baggies of heroin that Steele had hidden on her person, police added. Those baggies had been parceled into five bundles, police noted.
Investigators seized a total of 100 baggies of heroin, one gram of methamphetamine, seven illegally-possessed prescription sedatives and the shotgun, police reported.
Williams and Steele are each facing eight criminal charges, including possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony or a crime of violence, court records show.
Both remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond Tuesday, a day after their bail review hearings, according to court records, which also indicate that Williams is scheduled for an Oct. 7 preliminary hearing.