Crime

CENTREVILLE — Two Cecil County residents have been arrested and charged — along with four other people — after a collaborative law enforcement investigation into a “significant drug trafficking organization on the upper Eastern Shore,” Maryland State Police officials reported on Thursday.

Investigators identified one of the Cecil County suspects as Joanne Bragg, 75, and the other as Michael Bragg, 54, both of Elkton. Information regarding what relationship, if any, the two Braggs have with each was unavailable on Thursday.

Held without bond since his Dec. 22 arrest, Michael Bragg is charged with distribution of oxycodone, possession of oxycodone with the intent to distribute, conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and conspiracy to possess oxycodone with the intent to distribute, police said.

Free on a $2,500 bond after her arrest, which also occurred on Dec. 22, Joanne Bragg is facing the same four charges that were filled against Michael Bragg, police added.

Initiated by the Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force, the investigation “looked into information concerning the operation of a drug trafficking organization believed to be distributing large amounts of opioid pills and cocaine” in that county, police reported.

The Maryland State Police Heroin Investigative Unit joined the investigation and provided assistance during the summer and fall of 2020, after the task force had requested support from that unit, police said. During the course of the overall investigation, police added, multiple law enforcement agencies ultimately provided assistance to the task force.

MSP officials reported that the investigation “confirmed” that Terrance D. Brooks Jr., 41, of Millington, was the head of an organization “believed to be involved in the daily distribution of both powder and crack cocaine and illegal opioid prescription pills in Kent and Queen Anne’s counties.”

“Evidence was developed that enabled investigators to obtain 12 search warrants for four residences, five vehicles and two individuals. The homes searched were located in Millington and Chestertown. Two of the search warrants were served at the same address,” an MSP spokesman outlined.

Investigators confiscated suspect powder cocaine, oxycodone, Adderall and alprazolam pills and suboxone strips, police reported. Detectives also seized an assault pistol, a shotgun and two handguns, police said. In addition, police added, investigators took custody of four vehicles and more than $17,000 in cash “believed to be connected to the drug operation.”

Held without bond since his Nov. 17 arrest, Brooks — the purported leader of the alleged drug distribution organization — is facing 17 charges, including use of a firearm in a drug trafficking crime, possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute and four counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, police reported.

The following three remaining suspects also were arrested and charged, according to MSP officials:

* Terrance D. Brooks Sr., 64, of Millington, was arrested on Dec. 2 and was charged, by way of a criminal summons, with possession of an illegal assault weapon. He was released on personal recognizance.

* Aaron A. Garnett, 49, of Chestertown, was arrested on Dec. 14. Also released on personal recognizance, Garnett is facing six counts, including possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and maintaining a common nuisance.

* Carrie H. Harris, 40, of Chestertown, was arrested on Dec. 18 and is facing five charges, including possession of oxycodone with the intent to distribute and possession of cocaine. She, too, was released on personal recognizance.

MSP officials reported on Thursday that the investigation is continuing and additional arrests in this case are pending.

Queen Anne’s County officials expressed satisfaction over the collaborative police investigation that led to the six arrests.

“Just another example of joint law enforcement teamwork and our commitment to keep our community safe and free of these illegal drugs,” Queen Anne’s County Sheriff Gary Hofmann said, adding, “As I have often said, if you are dealing drugs, it’s only a matter of time before we hunt you down and arrest those responsible for killing our community. If you have a substance abuse issue, we will help you but we will not tolerate drug sales in and around our community”

Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney Lance Richardson commented, “On behalf of the State’s Attorney’s Office, we would like to convey our great appreciation of law enforcement’s efforts in this investigation. The Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force has worked tirelessly and steadily in their fight against drug dealers. Our community is overwrought by those who are willing to make a buck by exploiting those who suffer drug addiction. But we will not stop in our fight against them.”

MSP Superintendent Col. Woodrow W. Jones III also applauded the effort.

“The relentless commitment of dedicated state troopers, deputies, police officers and prosecutors working together has once again resulted in the successful dismantling of a criminal enterprise negatively impacting the lives and safety of Eastern Shore citizens,” Jones said, adding, “I commend the initiative, courage and perseverance of each member of the task force and the others who assisted with this investigation. I am committed to continuing this type of teamwork as we work together to make Maryland safer.”

The Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force is comprised of members of the Maryland State Police, the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office, and the Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney’s Office, police said. It is also supported by the Centreville Police Department and the Maryland Natural Resources Police, police added.

The task force received “valuable assistance” during this investigation from MSP’s Heroin Investigative Unit, the Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Tactical Team and CID units, the Delaware State Police, Homeland Security Investigations, the Kent County Narcotics Task Force, the Talbot County Narcotics Task Force, the Caroline County Drug Task Force, the MSP Gun Enforcement Unit North, MSP CED Upper Shore investigators, MSP troopers assigned to the Centreville Barrack, QACSO deputies, Maryland Natural Resources Police officers and members of the MNRP’s tactical unit, police reported.

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