Crime scene

NORTH EAST — A man remained in jail Tuesday after investigators confiscated 46 baggies containing a suspected mix of heroin and fentanyl during a traffic stop near North East, according to Cecil County District Court records.

Dfc. Joseph McCabe of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office stopped a white Chevrolet Silverado in the Flying J Travel Center parking lot at 1 Center Dr. off Route 272 (Northeast Road) at approximately 11:50 a.m. Friday, police said.

Moments earlier, the deputy had witnessed the driver of that pickup truck — John A. Steele, 30, of Rising Sun — allegedly cross the double-yellow centerline while traveling in the southbound lane of Route 272 and then fail to use his turn signal before making a left onto Lums Road, before entering the Flying J parking lot, police added.

“While speaking with John, deputies observed that John was displaying a nervous demeanor and shaking profusely,” McCabe notes in charging documents.

McCabe dispatched CCSO Sr. Deputy Michael Thomas and his specially-trained scent dog, Roscoe, to the traffic stop scene to conduct a probable-cause scan of the pickup truck’s perimeter, police said. Roscoe alerted to the presence of illegal drugs during that K-9 scan, police added.

During the search that followed, investigators found 46 baggies containing either heroin, or fentanyl or a mixture of the two inside Steele’s pants pocket, court records allege. Investigators seized those baggies, all of which had a “Power” street brand stamp, according to court records.

Those baggies had been parceled into three “bundles,” each containing approximately 16 baggies, police reported.

“McCabe also knows through his training, knowledge and experience that the heroin/fentanyl located was packaged and in sufficient quantity to indicate an intent to distribute . . . Further, Dfc. McCabe knows through his training, knowledge and experience that bags located on John are known as ‘Philly bags,’ which have a street value of between $15 and $20 per bag,” court records allege.

Investigators also confiscated $168, which, not counting eight dollars found in Steele’s pants pocket, was inside Steele’s wallet lying on the front dashboard, police said. The denominations of the cash, including 100 one-dollar bills, is “indicative of drug distribution and sales,” police added.

Later, at the CCSO headquarters, Thomas led Roscoe through a scan of the seized $168, and the dog alerted to the odor of illegal drugs coming from that cash, court records allege.

Scheduled for a Nov. 6 preliminary hearing, Steele is facing five charges, including possession of heroin/fentanyl with intent to distribute, according to court records.

Steele remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond on Tuesday, a day after his bail reviewing hearing, court records show.

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