Major drugs bust in Wicomico County
Those arrested and charged were identified as Jermaine A. Peters, 33, and Priscilla D. Hammond, 33, both of the 1400-block of Chateau Drive, Salisbury, Md. After consultation with the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office, Peters was charged with possession of a large amount of heroin, possession with the intent to distribute heroin, possession of heroin, three counts of possession of a firearm during and in relation to drug trafficking, three counts of illegal possession of a regulated firearm and illegal possession of ammunition. Peters was incarcerated in the Wicomico County Detention Center without bond.
Hammond was charged with possession of heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin, possession of a large amount of heroin, possession of a stolen handgun, three counts of possession of a firearm during and in relation to drug trafficking. She was released after posting a $25,000 bond.
The Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force, designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Unit, began the investigation in January 2015, when investigators developed information indicating Peters was involved in the distribution of heroin. Through the course of the investigation, law enforcement officers determined Peters was a large scale distributor of heroin in the County and the surrounding region.
Investigators from the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force applied for and were granted search warrants for two residences Peters was known to frequent, including the 1400-block of Chateau Drive, and the 1200-block of Jersey Road, both in Salisbury. The search warrants were served late Wednesday morning.
Police found both Peters and Hammond at the Chateau Road address. A search of the home led to the recovery of almost 2.5 pounds of raw heroin, with an estimated street sale value of $500,000. Police also found two stolen handguns and a long rifle with the serial number obliterated, as well as numerous rounds of ammunition. One handgun was a .357 caliber revolver that had been reported stolen from Somerset County. The other was a .40 caliber with a 30-round extended magazine, reported stolen from Worcester County. The long gun was a .22 caliber. Investigators recovered more than $118,600 in cash, believed to be money associated with the drug trade.
A search of the Jersey Road address resulted in the recovery of plastic baggies, scales and drug paraphernalia. Those materials are indicative of the processing and packaging of drugs for street sales. The person staying at that home was not believed to be involved in the criminal activity.
When police were serving the search warrant at the Chateau Road address, a member of the Maryland State Police Gang Enforcement Unit was assigned to a perimeter post at the rear of the home. As the trooper approached the residence, Peters was seen in the back yard of the home, with an adult pit bull.
The pit bull aggressively charged at the trooper as he came around a fence. Unable to get out of the way and in fear for his safety, the trooper fired one round from his issued duty pistol and struck the dog, killing him. No police or civilians were struck by the gunfire.
The Maryland State Police Internal Affairs Unit was notified of the trooper's use of a firearm, as was the Criminal Enforcement Division command staff. An administrative investigation is underway, as per procedure. The trooper who discharged his firearm works undercover and, out of concern for his safety, is not being identified.
The Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force is comprised of the Maryland State Police, the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department, the Salisbury City Police Department, the Fruitland Police Department, and the Wicomico County State's Attorney's Office. During this investigation and search warrant service, the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force was assisted by the Salisbury City Police Department Tactical Team, the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office SERT Team/K-9 Unit/Road Patrol, the Maryland State Police Gang Enforcement Unit/Firearms Unit/Apprehension Team/Road Patrol/the Wicomico County Bureau of Investigation, the Maryland State Police Major Trafficking Unit, the Eastern Shore Information Center, and the Drug Enforcement Administration Salisbury Post of Duty.