ELKTON, Md. - Behind the mug shot, those who know 27-year-old Deanna Hamilton say there's far more to the alleged drug dealer than meets the eye.
"She's a good mother. She's a good person,” said Pamela Hamilton, the suspect’s sister, “There's more to the story than what they're saying."
But it's a tragic story that's unfolding in Elkton, not unlike similar arrests we've seen throughout Maryland during the ongoing opioid epidemic.
"In the early part of November, Officer First Class Thomas Saulsbury along with our Street Crimes Unit developed information that a Deanna Hamilton of 381 West Main Street was involved in the illegal distribution of narcotics,” said Capt. Joseph Zurolo of the Elkton Police Department, “As a result of that investigation, they were able to obtain a search warrant for 381 West Main Street and executed it on November 17th."
That raid turned up more than 1,500 baggies of heroin and more than $5,000 in cash, along with small quantities of marijuana, oxycodone, needles, a crack pipe and a scale.
They also arrested Hamilton at the scene, although her sister maintains they've got the wrong person.
"Did she try to tell them that it wasn't hers or whatever the case was?"
"She tried to as far as I know,” said Hamilton’s sister, “I was told she tried to."
"But they weren't having it?"
Of course, it doesn't help that Hamilton faced similar charges last year and was alleged to have been part of a drug-related kidnapping the year before.
In a small town where officers are now administering life-saving doses of naloxone to counter opioids on almost a daily basis, the focus is also shifting to the dealers.
"Word on the street is they're kind of running scared and they know that we're in the area, and they're trying to do business elsewhere,” said Zurolo, “and that's exactly what we want to do is we can hope to displace them if we can."
Hamilton now faces a series of charges including drug distribution, but the investigation is far from over and police say several more arrests are expected.