When police raided an apartment in a high-end complex on Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia less than a week ago, they came armed with a search warrant and a pretty good idea of who and what they would find inside.
After all, 31-year old Brandon Dews of Baltimore already faced charges for dealing drugs in the county dating back six months.
"This is someone who has been on our radar for some time,” said Sherry Llewellyn of the Howard County Police Department,” We actually arrested him back in April and he was indicted in May. He was released on bond and while awaiting trial, we learned that, again, he was in our community again selling things like heroin, prescription drugs and crack cocaine."
And police say that's exactly what they found when they showed up unexpectedly on Thursday afternoon arresting Dews and five other people in the process.
One of the suspects, 33-year-old Carlos Black, even jumped out of a second floor window in a bid to get away, but he didn't get far.
With so much attention now focused on efforts to save addicts' lives, it may be easy to overlook those dealing in the potentially deadly drugs, but police here have a message for them.
"We are focusing on enforcement,” said Llewellyn, “We're going after these drug dealers who we know are selling drugs on our streets that are resulting in overdoses and killing people."
Like many other Maryland counties, Howard County has seen heroin-related fatal overdoses skyrocket in 2017 with 45 to date compared to 29 in all of last year, and police say its proximity to Baltimore has had an impact on that number.
"People are crossing jurisdictional lines,” said Llewellyn, “They're driving into Baltimore and then coming back through Howard County. They're pulling off to the side of the road or to a parking lot and overdosing."
Dews was released on a $75,000 bond earlier this year, and now is being held with no bond.
He pleaded guilty on the prior heroin distribution charges in court this morning, and prosecutors will be recommending a 20-year prison sentence in that case, notwithstanding this second arrest.