CUMBERLAND, Md. — An investigation into a drug selling operation that stretched from Baltimore to Western Maryland resulted in the arrest and charging of 17 people, including the group’s mastermind.
Beginning in 2018, the Maryland State Police Heroin Investigation Unit began looking into an alleged drug trafficking operation sending fentanyl, heroin, and cocaine from Baltimore City out to Allegany County and into surrounding communities. A 33-year-old Baltimore man, John James Howard, was targeted as the head of the organization. He was charged with 109 counts of drug-related charges after a grand jury in Allegany County returned an indictment against him on May 15.
Search warrants were served at locations in Allegany County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City during the week of May 14, State Police said. Investigators learned that drugs would come into Baltimore, then be transported to Allegany County, where they would be stored or distributed to other locations.
The 16 co-conspirators also indicted by the grand jury are:
• Dijhon Sanders, 26 of Baltimore, Maryland – four drug-related offenses to include distribution large amount, fentanyl
• Frank Edmonds, 56, of Baltimore, Maryland – nine drug-related offenses including conspiracy to distribute large amount of heroin
• Cody Propst, 37, of Lavale, Maryland – 23 drug-related offenses
• Robert Johnson, 56, of Frostburg, MD – 17 drug-related offenses
• Melanie Johnson, 39, of Frostburg, Maryland – 17 drug-related offenses
• Reid Golden, 46, of Cumberland, Maryland – 7 drug-related offenses including common nuisance and distribution of heroin.
• Alyse Beck, 31, of Cumberland, Maryland – five drug-related offenses including conspiracy to distribute large amount
• Jonathon May, of Cumberland, Maryland – five drug-related offenses including conspiracy to distribute large amount of illegal drugs
• Donnie Burley, 50, of Cumberland, Maryland – two drug-related offenses
• Ashlie Rhodes, 25, of Cumberland, Maryland – nine drug-related offenses
• Dereck Lewis, 28, of Cumberland, Maryland – four drug-related offenses
• Crystal Vanmeter, 24, of Lavale, Maryland – eight drug-related offenses
• Travis Keller, 47, of Cresaptown, Maryland – 16 drug-related offenses
• Gary Broadwater, 47, of Frostburg, Maryland – seven drug-related offenses
• Brianna Lear, 22, of Westernport, Maryland – one drug-related offense
• Ashley Davis, 32, of Cresaptown, Maryland – two drug-related offenses