Another suspect arrested in Kent drug probe; two still sought

12dsn Kent drug bust1

DOVER — One suspect was arrested Friday and two still sought in connection with an investigation into an alleged large-scale drug operation that brought 13 arrests and/or indictments earlier this week.

Frank R. Lovett, 28, of Greenwood, was taken into custody for a racketeering indictment and held at Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown on a $30,000 cash bond, according to the Delaware State Police.

Authorities continued to search for Abdul T. White, 30, of Dover, and Ashley S. Gonzalez, 25, of Harrington, on allegations of racketeering, officials said.

Both should be considered armed and dangerous, police said. They are also sought by Milford PD, investigating an alleged home invasion and homicide in early August.

Earlier this week, Milford PD identified Mr. White and Ms. Gonzalez as boyfriend and girlfriend.

In a news release, Milford listed Mr. White as from Philadelphia and said he was wanted for alleged first-degree murder, home invasion and other charges after the Aug. 8 death of 40-year-old Milford resident John G. Harmon at a residence in the 500 block of North Walnut Street.

Mr. White was described as a 6-foot-1, 250-pound black male who has spent time in the Milford, Dover, Woodside and Philadelphia areas.

Possibly with him is Ms. Gonzalez, who police said is wanted for questioning regarding the alleged homicide.

She was described as a 5-foot, 115-pound Hispanic female.

Milford PD asked anyone with information to contact Det. Dwight Young or Det. John Horsman at 422-8081 or submit tips thru the MyPD app.

Law enforcement cautioned the public not to approach either sought person if seen, and said to call 911 immediately.

“In any search for wanted felons, they should always be considered armed and dangerous particularly when drugs and weapons are involved and especially since one of them is wanted for murder,” state police spokesman Master Cpl. Gary E. Fournier.

State police asked anyone with information on the duo’s whereabouts to contact Sgt. Skinner at 741-2798.

Anonymous tips can be texted to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”

Both law enforcement agencies said information could also be sent online at www.tipsubmit.com, or by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.

A ‘significant’ operation

On Friday, state police announced the culmination of “Operation Spiritus,” a long-running investigation into alleged illegal drug sales in central and southern Kent County, which led to arrests on more than 100 criminal charges.

Authorities described the alleged operation as “significant.”

“The arrests will have an impact on the distribution of cocaine, heroin, and firearms within the communities and neighborhoods,” Cpl.. Fournier said.

The investigation which began in March involved more than 50 law enforcement officers at the federal, state, county and municipal levels. It followed a similar operation in Sussex County that netted a wave of arrests earlier this summer.

Cpl. Fournier said the busts were indication of how effective coordinated efforts are having on big alleged drug running operations, “but the Sussex investigation was not related to this investigation.”

A concerted effort again paid ample dividends, police said.

“Large scale investigations require resources and cooperation from local, county, state, and federal agencies in order to be successful,” Cpl.. Fournier said. “The level of involvement of each agency varies from case to case.”

On Wednesday, several law enforcement agencies conducted a slew of search warrants and made arrests at various times throughout the day at 12 separate locations in Magnolia, Felton, Frederica, Harrington, Greenwood, and Milford, police said.

The Kent County SPCA took custody of dogs that were located in unsanitary conditions, Cpl.. Fournier said. Code Enforcement officers and DNREC staff assessed properties located on Unity Lane in Harrington allegedly used by some defendants to conceal their illegal activity, according to authorities.

The charges, evidence

State police claimed the alleged drug organization distributed over 1,000 grams of cocaine in the past six months.

In announcing the arrests via a news release Thursday, police alleged that Kevin M. McDonald, 41, of Magnolia, had orchestrated a cocaine network.

He was indicted in the Kent County Superior Court on 12 alleged felony crimes including racketeering, drug dealing, aggravated possession of cocaine, and numerous other drug offenses, state police said.

Mr. McDonald was subsequently held at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna in lieu of $41,750 cash bail.

Taking part in the search warrant executions were tactical teams from state police, Dover, Smyrna, and Milford PDs, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and State of Delaware Probation and Parole.

Authorities said the search warrants netted the following items, and listed approximate weights off drugs located:
• 1,089.64 grams of cocaine
• 21.36 grams of heroin
• 22.3 grams of marijuana
• two .40 caliber handguns
• one .410 caliber handgun
• three 9 mm handguns
• one 12 gauge shotgun
• one .223 caliber assault rifle
• assorted ammunition
• $42,973 in suspected drug proceeds
• two motor vehicles
• packaging material including thousands of wax bags associated with the sale of heroin

Arrests and indictments

Police said five defendants were indicted in Kent County Superior Court on various felony charges including alleged racketeering, drug and weapons offenses before being held by the Delaware Department of Correction in lieu of bonds:• Kevin A. McDonald Jr., 22, of Felton
• Amanda Pollard, 23, of Magnolia
• Gary D. Williams, 25, of Frederica
• Taquen G. Owens, 22, of Greenwood
• James M. Smith, 30, of Harrington

Arrested and charged with alleged drug and weapons offenses, according to authorities, were:
• Arthur D. Stratton, 39, of Magnolia
• Teuntay C. Drummond, 22, of Milford
• Alivia Mosley, 22, of Milford
• Kashyra Cannon, 25, of Milford
• Jocquon Johnson, 22, of Milford
• Deanna Boyd, 25, of Milford
• Rhymean Floyd, 35, of Milford

Also taking part in the investigation were:
Drug Enforcement Administration
Delaware Department of Justice
New Castle County Police Department
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms
Harrington Police Department
Kent County Code Enforcement
City of Harrington Code Enforcement

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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