ELKTON — A surveillance operation outside of an Elkton residence led to investigators confiscating a loaded handgun and more than a pound and a quarter of suspect marijuana and — after a brief foot chase — arresting one suspect, according to Cecil County District Court records.

Investigators identified the suspect as David Hammond, 18, of the unit block of Bratton Road in Elkton.

Members of Elkton Police Department’s Street Level Crimes Unit and the Maryland State Police Firearms Enforcement Unit conducted a court-approved search of a residence linked to Hammond in the 300 block of Friendship Road in Elkton at approximately 7:20 p.m. on Thursday, police said.

Meanwhile, an EPD officer working undercover conducted surveillance on a residence in the unit block of Bratton Road, an address investigators also connected to Hammond, police added.

The investigation leading up to the simultaneous court-approved search and the surveillance operation “revealed that Hammond utilizes both 346 Friendship Rd. and 9 Bratton Rd. to distribute CDS (illegal drugs) and conceal various firearms,” according to the charging document, which further indicates that Hammond was not at either residence when the two operations started.

The surveilling officer saw a woman talking on a cell phone while walking in the front part of the Bratton Road property, before she moved to the rear of that residence, police said. When she reappeared moments later, police added, the woman was carrying a black and red backpack, which she then placed on the ground beside a mailbox, police added.

“It appears the bag was retrieved from a concealed/hidden location,” police reported.

At about that same time, a blue 2013 Nissan Versa pulled up to the residence, according to the charging document. Hammond got out from a passenger’s seat, grabbed the backpack and reentered the car, which then drove away, court records show.

The surveilling officer followed the Nissan and noted its license plate, police reported.

When the Nissan reached the intersection of Road A and Road 1 in the Hollingsworth Manor neighborhood, another EPD officer intercepted the vehicle in his marked patrol car, police said. Hammond got out of the vehicle, when the officer approached the suspect Nissan, and ran through a section of Hollingsworth Manor while holding the backpack — triggering a foot chase, police added.

The foot chase went through backyards of Hollingsworth Manor residences before returning to Road 1, where Hammond discarded the backpack and then knelt, according to the charging document. The officer arrested Hammond there without incident, court records show.

During the foot chase, the pursuing EPD officer never lost sight of Hammond and the backpack, which a fellow officer retrieved from the ground and secured, police reported.

While searching the backpack, investigators found a loaded “ghost gun,” specifically a P80 9mm, and confiscated the weapon, court records allege. A ghost gun is a privately-made firearm that lacks a serial number.

Also inside that backpack, investigators found a “large bag” holding 620 grams of suspect marijuana, which translates to more than a pound and a quarter, court records allege. There are about 453 grams in one pound, and approximately 113 grams in a quarter-pound.

“From this investigation, Hammond is confirmed to be prohibited from owning or carrying a regulated firearm . . . Information gathered from this investigation and Hammond’s cell phone is indicative (of) narcotics distribution,” according to the charging document.

Hammond is facing 11 criminal charges, including possession of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime, distributing a controlled and dangerous substance with a firearm and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute — all of which are felonies, court records show.

He remained in the Cecil County Detention Center on no bond Tuesday, four days after his bail review hearing, according to court records.

Court records identify the woman who allegedly placed the backpack beside the mailbox on the Bratton Road property. The Cecil Whig is withholding her name, however, because charges had not been filed against her, as of Tuesday.

Information regarding the person who was driving the suspect Nissan Versa that was occupied by Hammond was unavailable, as of Tuesday.

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