OCEAN CITY, Md.- Ocean City police say a traffic stop for seat belt violations turned into a drug bust that led to the arrests of three Delaware men.
Police said that on Sunday morning, May 13, officers were conducting a "Click It or Ticket" seat belt enforcement detail in the area of 33rd Street and Baltimore Avenue, when they stopped a vehicle registered in Delaware that had four unrestrained adult occupants and a 1-year-old infant.
Police said that during the stop, officers observed in plain view a small amount of suspected marijuana in a front seat cup holder and a passenger in the rear seat attempting to roll a suspected marijuana cigarette. The occupants were removed from the vehicle, after which officers searched the vehicle for additional contraband.
During the search, police said the officers located a soda can in the back seat area, which had a false compartment that was empty. According to police, a search of the occupants revealed two bags of suspected heroin belonging to 21-year-old Jamil Lee Mills of Wilmington, Del.
Police continued to search the vehicle and located a backpack in the trunk containing four bundles of small clear plastic bags, which investigators said were later found to be 53 individual bags of suspected heroin. Authorities said the backpack was also found to have a loaded Jennings .32 caliber handgun, which had the serial number scratched off. Additionally, officers said they seized more than $600 in cash, cellphones and the commercially-made stash-can (soda can).
The owner of the backpack was arrested and identified as 19-year-old Marcus Lamont Neal of New Castle, Del. Police said a front seat passenger, identified as, 22-year-old Raheem Shalir Cephas of Wilmington, was arrested after officers recovered a bag of suspected marijuana, which was concealed in his sock.
Neal was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of heroin, possession of heroin with the intent to distribute, unlawful possession of a handgun, possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number, possession of a handgun while involved in a drug trafficking crime, and use of a handgun while engaged in a drug trafficking crime. He was seen by an Ocean City District Court Commissioner and ordered held in the Worcester County Jail on $25,000 bond.
Mills was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of heroin, and possession of heroin with the intent to distribute. He was ordered held in the Worcester County Jail on $15,000 bond.
Cephas was charged with two counts of possession of marijuana and released on his own recognizance.