ELKTON — A Cecil County man and a Pennsylvania woman remained jailed Tuesday after investigators confiscated heroin and other drugs during a traffic stop near Elkton, police reported.
Charging documents indicate that the arrests of the suspects — Benjamin Stonewall Harrison, 36, of the unit block of Taylor Road near Rising Sun, and Kayla Beth Hughes, 29, of Nottingham, Pa. — on Aug. 7 was the result of a Chester County (Pa.) Sheriff’s Office detective sharing information with the Cecil County Drug Task Force.
That information led to investigators conducting surveillance at an Elkton motel, which, in turn, led to the traffic stop and the resulting search yielding the illegal drugs, according to Cecil County District Court records.
The detective in Chester County contacted a CCDTF member at about 9 a.m. Aug. 7 and reported that she had been investigating Harrison for heroin distribution and that he was wanted by the Maryland State Police for allegedly failing to appear for court, police said.
In addition, police added, the detective informed the CCDTF member that Harrison was staying in Room 206 at the Sunrise Inn and that “Harrison was known to transport his heroin supply in a silver in color case covered in pictures.”
At about noon that day, during a surveillance operation at that motel, an investigator saw a black 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander pull up in front of Room 206 and park, police reported. Then the investigator saw Harrison walk out of Room 206, open the Outlander’s rear hatch and load several bags inside of it, before he got into the front passenger’s seat and the vehicle drove away, according to police.
After receiving an update from the investigator who had been conducting surveillance at the motel, a member of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Street Level Crimes Unit started following the Mitsubishi on northbound Route 279, police said.
The SLV officer stopped the Mitsubishi, after noticing that the driver failed to use a turn signal before getting onto the ramp leading to the northbound lane of Interstate 95, police added. The 63-year-old driver was not charged in this case.
Harrison was in the front-passenger’s seat and Hughes was in a backseat, police noted.
“(The officer) observed Mr. Harrison to be extremely nervous and was playing with a black in color ‘bundle band’,” according to court records, which indicate that the officer was aware that such bands are used to package heroin.
After arresting Harrison on the open MSP warrant and taking him out of the vehicle, the officer found a plastic bag “containing a white powder substance” inside Harrison’s wallet, police reported.
The officer also removed the driver and Hughes from the vehicle, which was then scanned by a CCSO K-9 unit comprised of handler Sr. Deputy Michael Thomas and his specially trained scent dog, Roscoe, police said. A search of the vehicle was conducted, after Roscoe alerted to the presence of illegal drugs, police added.
In the back seat, where Hughes had been seated beside women’s clothing, searchers found a silver box matching the Chester County detective’s description of the box Harrison purportedly used to transport illegal drugs, court records allege.
Investigators searched that box and found 60 blue wax paper baggies containing slightly more than 20 grams of suspect heroin and a clear plastic baggie holding a little bit more than 25 grams of suspect marijuana, in addition to slightly more than 5 grams of suspect cocaine, according to court records.
Also inside that box, investigators found four pills believed to be oxycodone, police reported.
In addition, according to court records, that box contained a scale and unused bundle bands and plastic baggies.
Harrison and Hughes are each facing five charges, including possession of heroin with intent to distribute, according to court records, which also indicate that Harrison and Hughes are scheduled for preliminary hearings on Sept. 4 and Sept. 9 respectively.
After their bail review hearings, Harrison and Hughes remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond Tuesday, court records show.