UPDATED BY ANDREW KOCH: 15 large, wrapped packages of marijuana nearly filled an entire table inside a conference room at the Maryland State Police Barracks in Berlin. The packages contained more than 350 pounds of pot, with a street value of about $400,000.
Maryland State Police say the pot was found inside a van driven by 54-year-old Donald Gayle of New Brunswick, New Jersey. Troopers say around 4:30 p.m. on December 30, a trooper pulled Gayle's van over on southbound Route 113 near Germantown Road for failing to comply with Maryland's "Move Over Law." During the stop, the trooper says he noticed Gayle acting suspiciously, and called in a K-9 unit to search the van. The dog smelled drugs, and the packages were found inside five duffel bags in the van.
Gayle is being held on $650,000 bond at the Worcester County Detention Center, and has been charged with possession of marijuana, possession with the intent to distribute, and importing a controlled dangerous substance into Maryland. He's scheduled for a preliminary hearing on January 25 in Worcester County District Court in Snow Hill. Worcester County State's Attorney Beau Oglesby says Gayle is facing up to 50 years in prison and/or $200,000 in fines, thanks to a previous drug conviction. Oglesby was unsure if Gayle has been convicted for drug offenses in New Jersey, and that additional charges are possible after his office reviews the case.
Because of the amount of pot that was seized, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations task force is one of the agencies that's working on the ongoing investigation. Law enforcement officials are calling this one of the largest drug busts ever on the Eastern Shore.
ORIGINAL STORY BY KELLI STEELE
The commander and assistant commanders of the Maryland State Police Berlin Barrack will be joined by the Worcester County State’s Attorney this afternoon to announce a recent arrest and the recovery of more than 350 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop.
Although the marijuana was packaged in an attempt to reduce its scent, a State Police drug dog was able to detect its odor and alert troopers to the presence of drugs in the stopped vehicle.
WGMD’s Andrew Koch will be attending today’s press conference at 1 o’clock and will have details for us as soon as the information is made available.
Return to: WGMD Local News Blog