Task Force Arrests Baltimore Drug Dealers—MPD Shuts Down Martin Street Drug House

  • Task Force Arrests Baltimore Drug Dealers—MPD Shuts Down Martin Street Drug House

    Task Force Arrests Baltimore Drug Dealers—MPD Shuts Down Martin Street Drug House

    The Martinsburg Police Department announced today the initiation of another case under the city’s “Drug House Ordinance” for the rental property at 214 W. Martin Street.  The latest drug bust was the result of a successful long-term investigation conducted by the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force into illegal drug selling.  On Thursday, July 19th, Task Force officers arrested two men from Baltimore with extensive criminal histories of drug, violence, and weapons violations.

    Police Chief Maury Richards appeared today before Martinsburg Chief Magistrate Ella Buckner to obtain an Order of Abatement to address the illegal drug activity documented at the location.  The owner of the Martin Street property has been identified as Chris Baker and found to be in violation of the Drug House Ordinance.

    Last Thursday, after a traffic stop by MPD Patrolman Nashon Cook, officers of the Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force arrested two men from Baltimore; Jonathan Charles McFadden, 27, and Carlos Donte Ingram, 30; for previously selling heroin and crack cocaine from the 214 W. Martin Street location.  Both had been invited into the residence by the tenant, Candace Hammond.

    McFadden and Ingram were both charged with Distribution and Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin and Distribution and Conspiracy to Distribute Crack Cocaine.  McFadden was also found to be a convicted felon and fugitive from Maryland on a parole violation for illegal drugs and weapons.  After being placed in custody, McFadden was appropriately charged with the parole violation.  McFadden is considered by the Maryland Department of Corrections to be “violent, armed, and dangerous.”  Immediately after the arrests, Task Force officers obtained and executed a search warrant at 214 W. Martin Street, recovering two packets of heroin in the possession of Candace Hammond.  Hammond was issued a criminal citation by MPD Canine Unit officer Ryan Fritz.

    Mr. Baker is scheduled to appear before Municipal Judge Dale Buck on September 5, 2018 to provide evidence that he has complied with the Chief Magistrate’s order to clean up the drug problem on his property and prevent it from recurring in the future.  Written notification has been sent to the owner.   Baker has been previously cited under the Drug House Ordinance for violations at his rental property on 504 W. Race Street.

    Martinsburg Chief of Police Maury Richards commended the effective action by Task Force and MPD officers.  “Our Eastern Panhandle Drug & Violent Crimes Task Force is second to none,” stated Richards.  “It’s really important that we have a federal task force that not only does great policework throughout the region but also takes care of business here at home.  “Once again, our Task Force and MPD officers have sent a clear message—’if you sell drugs in Martinsburg, we’ll find you and lock you up,” the MPD Chief added.

    Deputy Chief George Swartwood stressed the importance of teamwork and cooperation in winning Martinsburg’s war on drugs.  “The Martinsburg Police Department and Task Force have an outstanding partnership,” Swartwood stated.  “On Martin Street our teamwork has effectively put two drug dealers behind bars, shut down another drug house, and taken a big step to clean up the neighborhood,” he added.

    The Martin Street rental property is the 30th Drug House shut down by MPD under the City’s innovative drug fighting tool.  The Drug House Ordinance has proved successful in not only shutting down drug-selling operations, but also in keeping problems from recurring at those locations.  Calls-for-service records show that since the date of final disposition of the previous 29 Drug Ordinance cases, there have been zero complaints of drug-selling activity at any of these locations.  Total calls-for-service at those locations were reduced by more than 90%.                

    The Martinsburg Drug House Ordinance applies to owners of both rental and owner-occupied property.  Huntington, Parkersburg, Clarksburg, and Fairmont, West Virginia have enacted similar drug house ordinances based on Martinsburg’s to help fight the drug problem.  Under the provisions of the Drug House Ordinance, property owners are subject to fines if they fail to take appropriate action to abate the problem after 30 days of notification.