- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 27, 2003

BALTIMORE — Major suppliers of cocaine on the Eastern Shore whose operation spread into Delaware and across the Chesapeake Bay have been indicted on drug-trafficking charges, authorities said yesterday.

A federal grand jury indicted seven persons last week, accusing them of being part of a drug ring based in the Salisbury, Md., area, U.S. Attorney Thomas DiBiagio said.

The operation generated millions of dollars in drug profits in a seven years, he said.

“The major supplier is gone, and if they want to find him, he’s over in the lockup,” Mr. DiBiagio said.

The 14-count indictment, which was sealed until yesterday, charged Ronald Lamont Seldon, 28, and Derrick Lamont Shrieves, 30, of conspiracy to distribute crack and cocaine in the Salisbury area between 1996 and 2003.

The indictment also charged Edwina Charlene Harmon, 30, Sylvia Ann Harmon, 62, and Yvonne Louise Seldon, 57, all of Salisbury, with buying homes and vehicles to hide the proceeds from drug sales.

Sales were made in Somerset, Wicomico, Dorchester and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and Sussex County in Delaware, Mr. DiBiagio said.

In a separate indictment, Jermaine Wallace, 25, of Salisbury, and Natasha Adams, 25, of Bowie, were charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and money laundering from 1997 to 2003.

Both indictments relate to the same operation, Mr. DiBiagio said.

Dave Rivello, special agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in Salisbury, said the drugs were first distributed mostly in the Salisbury area.

“Over time, the scope of organization grew,” he said. “It began to distribute drugs in other areas on the Eastern Shore as well as in the Prince George’s County, Maryland, area.”

Mr. DiBiagio said Ronald Seldon and Mr. Wallace used their girlfriends and mothers to conceal the organization’s drug proceeds by having them hide drug money in residences, safety deposit boxes and bank accounts, the indictment states.

They also instructed them to buy jewelry and property with the money, he said.

Mr. DiBiagio is committed to going after family members of drug dealers who handle the money.

“Don’t ever fool yourself,” he said. “When we come and get the drug organization, we mean you, too.”

Authorities used 17 federal search warrants to uncover kilogram amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana as well as drug paraphernalia and firearms, Mr. DiBiagio said.

About $218,000 in cash and more than $236,000 in jewelry was also found, he said.

The indictment against Mr. Seldon seeks about $2 million in forfeited drug proceeds, and the indictment against Mr. Wallace seeks forfeiture of about $1 million in proceeds, including homes and vehicles.

“Everything that we can find that they bought with drug money, we’re taking,” DiBiagio said.

The three-year investigation began after Mr. Seldon was stopped for speeding in July 2000 and drugs and money were found in his car.

Mr. Seldon was arrested for the latest charges March 13 in Odenton, Md., and Mr. Shrieves was arrested the next day in Prince George’s County. Edwina Harmon and Yvonne Seldon surrendered to U.S. marshals yesterday. Sylvia Harmon was expected to surrender later this week.

Mr. Seldon, Mr. Shrieves and Mr. Wallace face as long as life in prison without parole. Edwina Harmon, Sylvia Harmon and Yvonne Seldon face as much as 20 years in prison on the money-laundering charges, and Miss Adams faces up to 10 years if convicted.

No date has been set for arraignments on any of the charges.

Investigators with the DEA, the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service worked on the case, along with drug task forces from Dorchester, Somerset and Wicomico counties, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.

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