Crime scene tape

ELKTON — A surveillance operation outside an Elkton motel led to a traffic stop in which investigators seized more than two ounces of suspect methamphetamine, in addition to a small amount of crack cocaine and other evidence, and arrested two Delaware men, police reported.

The suspects – Nicholas Hald, 52, of Wilmington, Del., and Eric C. Ray, 41, of Middletown, Del. — remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond over the weekend, after their bail review hearings, court records show.

Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Nathan Cryder stopped a gold BMW driven by Hald in the 200 block of Belle Hill Road at approximately 12:10 a.m. on Tuesday because the car had a malfunctioning headlight, police said.

Cryder made the traffic stop shortly after watching the BMW pull into the nearby Motel 6 parking lot and leave less than five minutes later, police added.

“Deputy Cryder knows through his training, knowledge and experience (that) the area of Motel 6 is a high-crime drug area,” the deputy reports in his written statement of probable cause, explaining the reason for the surveillance operation.

Cryder dispatched CCSO Cpl. Joseph Brewer and his specially-trained scent dog, K9 Max, because Hald purportedly acted in a manner that raised suspicion, according to charging documents, which allege, “(Hald) was shaking uncontrollably and was stuttering his words. Deputy Cryder further observed that (Hald) dropped his insurance card several times before handing it to him.”

In addition, the deputy noticed that Hald’s front-seat passenger, Ray, had “his knees raised towards the dash and would not make eye contact,” police said.

Moreover, police added, Ray informed Cryder that he had an active arrest warrant, which the deputy then confirmed through dispatch.

After K9 Max alerted to the presence of illegal drugs while performing a sniff-scan of the BMW’s exterior, investigators confiscated 17 baggies containing a total of approximately 55 grams of suspect methamphetamine, which they found inside a black bag located on the passenger floorboard, court records allege. There are 28 grams in an ounce.

Searchers also found a digital scale and a cellphone inside that bag, police reported.

“Deputy Cryder knows that a large amount of (drugs) in close proximity to a scale and cell phone is indicative of the sale/distribution of (drugs),” according to charging documents.

During a pat-down search of Ray, the deputy found suspect methamphetamine contained in a ziplock baggie that was located inside a small black pouch attached to his wallet, police said. The deputy also found $130 in cash inside that wallet, police added.

While checking Hald, the deputy found four baggies containing an additional four grams of suspect methamphetamine and another baggie holding less than one gram of suspect crack cocaine during a pat-down search, court records allege.

Those baggies were wrapped in a blue paper towel that the deputy found inside the sock on Hald’s left foot, according to charging documents, which explain that Cryder confiscated the suspect meth and crack cocaine after noticing “a large bulge in (Hald’s) sock.”

Scheduled for an Aug. 5 preliminary hearing, Hald is charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, which is a felony, and two misdemeanor drug offenses, court records show.

Ray is facing two charges, including a felony count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, according to court records, which indicate that he is scheduled for an Aug. 19 preliminary hearing.

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