‘Enforcement blitz’ targeted trouble spots in Dover, Magnolia


DOVER — The large scale operation described as an “enforcement blitz” by authorities in Kent County began at 5 p.m. Monday and concluded at 1 a.m. Tuesday, yielding 22 criminal arrests.

Grouped into three teams, law enforcement from eight agencies canvassed six Dover and Magnolia area neighborhoods and traveled throughout Kent County to apprehend suspects wanted on court capiases and arrest warrants, the Delaware State Police said.

During the eight-hour arrest spree, two suspects fled and were charged with resisting arrest when taken into custody, spokesman Master Cpl. Melissa Jaffe said after the operation’s results were announced Wednesday. Eleven suspects were jailed and 13 felony arrests resulted, along with 23 traffic citations issued.

According to authorities, $2,407 in suspected drug dealing proceeds and 3.86 grams of crack cocaine were seized. No firearms were located.

Felony arrests included:

•Antonio Santos-Gonzalez, 36, of Wilmington, manufactures, delivers or possesses with intent to manufacture, deliver a controlled substance, $6,500 secured bond.

•Dayton A. Jackson, 33, of Dover, active warrant for manufactures, delivers, or possesses with intent to deliver a controlled substance, possesses a controlled substance in a Tier 5 quantity and second-degree conspiracy. Committed on $42,500 secured bond.

•16-year-old Hartly male, arrested on active warrant for possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, and two counts of aggravated menacing, released on his own recognizance.

•James L. Jones, 38, of Felton, arrested on an active warrant for receiving a stolen firearm, committed on $4,000.00 cash bond.

•Merlin Smith, 47, of Harrington, arrested on active warrant out of Milford for failure to re-register as a sex offender, committed on $2,000 secured bond.

•Steven Telthoester, 43, of Bridgeville, arrested on an active warrant for felony theft, selling stolen property and theft by false pretense, released on $5,000 unsecured bond.

•Justin Gallo, 28, of Dover, arrested on an active warrant for felony theft, released on $17,750 unsecured bond.

Suspects were taken to State Police Troop 3 in Camden for booking.

The areas identified as having ongoing criminal activity included the area Alder Park Apartments, Pine Grove Apartments and Rodney Village in Dover and Meadowbrook Acres, Paris Villa and London Village in Magnolia.

The locations were determined to be trouble spots “based on criminal activity,” according to Cpl. Jaffe.

The breakdown on number of arrests made on the streets, in residences or vehicles was not available, State Police said.

While the State Police Mounted Patrol and Community Outreach Unit returned to the communities to contact residents about the goals and results of the operation, authorities said it was “unknown” how the public reacted to police.

“The goal of this outreach effort was to demonstrate the commitment that the police have in making their communities safer while building trustworthy relationships,” Cpl. Jaffe said.

Other participating agencies were the Dover Police Department, Milford Police Department, Smyrna Police Department, Capital Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Marshall’s Task Force and Probation and Parole.

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