Suspected large-scale drug organization busted in Kent

KENT COUNTY — Twenty arrests or indictments with more than 200 felony charges capped a two-year investigation into alleged illegal drug trafficking within Kent County, Delaware State Police said Monday.

Multiple law enforcement agencies took part in “Operation Old School” which concluded Jan. 3, spokeswoman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said.

“This investigation demonstrates that the collaborative efforts of law enforcement continues to target and dismantle drug organizations across our state,” DSP Superintendent Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr. said in a news release announcing the arrests.

“Through a variety of methods to include short term and long term investigations these efforts will continue as long as there are drug organizations that plague Delaware communities. Thank you to our Troopers, prosecutors and all of our federal and local partners for their commitment to this investigation.”

Police said arrestees within the supposed organization conducted a “large scale distribution of cocaine and marijuana in and around Kent County.”

The probe was launched in June 2016 when the Dover DEA Drug Task Force consisting of Drug Enforcement Administration, Dover Police Department, and Delaware State Police identified a large-scale cocaine trafficking origination being operated in Kent and New Castle County, Cpl. Jaffe said.

Further investigation by detectives determined that the organization’s alleged leaders were Richardo L. Barnaby, 44, of New Castle, Barry V. Haith, 44, of Dover, and Lamont K. McCove, 39, of Harrington.

Lamont K. McCove

Additionally, police said, 17 other persons were arrested (by Jan. 3) and/or indicted on 244 felony and 34 misdemeanor charges.

Ten search warrants were executed, with items seized including:

• 3,061.95 grams of cocaine

• 694.98 grams of marijuana

• 3.3 grams of THC oil

• 33.6 grams of crack cocaine

• One 40 caliber handgun

• Three 9mm Handguns

• One AR-15

• $96,011 in suspected drug proceeds

• Assorted ammunition

• 2008 Dodge Ram pickup truck (valued at $5,000)

• 2018 moped (valued at $2,000)

• Assorted drug paraphernalia

Mr. Barnaby was charged with racketeering, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (six counts), aggravated possession (seven counts), possession of firearm/ammunition by person prohibited (two counts) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was committed to Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown on $205,000 cash only bond.

Mr. Haith was charged with racketeering, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (23 counts), aggravated possession (11 counts), second-degree conspiracy (18 counts), criminal solicitation (five counts), possession of drug paraphernalia, second-degree reckless endangering (four counts), resisting arrest, tampering with evidence, disregarding police signal and criminal mischief over $5,000.

He was arraigned and committed to SCI on $223,000 secured bond.Mr. McCove was charged with racketeering, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (18 counts), aggravated possession (15 counts), second-degree conspiracy (14 counts), criminal solicitation (four counts), possession drug paraphernalia (three counts), resisting arrest, tampering with evidence (two counts) and disregarding a police signal.

He was arraigned and committed to SCI on $301,000 cash only bond.

Besides DSP, other jurisdictions taking part in the investigation included:

• Delaware Department of Justice

• U.S. Attorney’s Office

• Dover Police Department

• Drug Enforcement Administration

• Delaware National Guard

• New Jersey National Guard

• Maryland National Guard

• Philadelphia Police Department

• Wicomico Narcotics Task Force

• Salisbury Police Department

 

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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