Dozens arrested in Coverdale Crossroads

BRIDGEVILLE — Dozens of arrests on hundreds of charges followed investigation into criminal activity in the Coverdale Crossroads community, Delaware State Police announced Tuesday night.

Additionally, 44 court capiases for wanted persons were cleared during the operation that began Jan. 28, spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said. Police described the neighborhood as “a well-known open-air drug market …”

Three shooting incidents between Jan. 14 and Jan. 20 also prompted the operation, and police said the search for suspects continues.

As of Tuesday, police said, 94 persons were arrested on 60 felony and 165 misdemeanor counts and 167 traffic charges. No individual arrests were detailed.

“The main focus of this operation is to reduce the gun violence and drug activity in the Coverdale Crossroads community area,” DSP spokeswoman Melissa Jaffe said.

“While there were felony arrests, we did not want to single individuals out, as there was not one or two main suspects involved, therefore we chose not to include names and photos.”

The arrestees were from both inside and outside the community, police said. The operation was a combination of both visible and covert operations and arrests at various times of the day were made when probable cause was established, according to Cpl. Jaffe.

Evidence seized included:

• Seven firearms.

• 40.75 grams of cocaine.

• 22.86 grams of heroin.

• 217 grams of marijuana.

• Various amounts of Suboxone tablets, Schedule III pills, methamphetamine, Topiramate pills, Tramodol Hydrochloride, Oxydone, Suboxone and MDMA pills. I

The effort included the Sussex Governor’s Task Force and Drug Unit, in addition to troopers from Troops 5 and 7. Probation and Parole officers made several arrests, along with the Special Operations Response Team.

Law enforcement will continue to monitor the area.

“Our commitment to public safety through the entirety of the community remains unchanged,” Cpl. Jaffe said. “We will continue to work in the area and in collaboration with community leaders for ways to continue to improve the area and combat crime.

“It is our hope, too, to be able to deliver concrete results from our neighbors providing timely information about suspicious or illegal activity.”

According to Cpl. Jaffe, “Our investigations clearly linked drug sales in the area to the shootings occurring in the community. In the absence of suspect identifications in the shootings, we sought to suppress the root cause of the gunfire – the drug sales, themselves.

“Similar drug investigations are and have been ongoing statewide for generations.”

Shootings detailed

• On Jan. 20 at approximately 5:44 p.m., a 35-year-old female and 36-year-old male suffered non-life threatening injuries after shots were fired at their vehicle from a trailing vehicle on Coverdale Road north of Hastings Farm Road.

• On Jan. 19, no injuries were reported after shots were fired in the unit block of Mill Park Drive at approximately 8:30 p.m. A 33-year-old female and 37-year-old male found there residence was damaged and reported hearing a fight outside just prior to the gunshots.

• On Jan. 14 and roughly 7:30 a.m. a 52-year-old female and 19-year-old male were uninjured after multiple shots were fired at a resident in the 21000 block of Mill Park Drive.

Police asked anyone with information on the shootings to contact Detective C. Simpson at 752-3855. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or online at delaware.crimestoppersweb.com.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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