Juerbar Otis Thomas

Juerbar Otis Thomas

CUMBERLAND — A drug trafficking organization comprised of gang members and responsible for the distribution of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine and the movement of firearms from New York to Allegany County has been dismantled and its leader arrested, police said Thursday.

Maryland State Police said the operation, “Operation Blood Clot,” started about a year ago and resulted in the indictment of accused drug kingpin Juerbar Otis Thomas, 43, a former Bronx, New York, resident who now lives in Cumberland on 64 drug-related offenses. Twenty alleged co-conspirators from the Bloods street gang were also indicted.

"This is an example of the truly dedicated law enforcement personnel in Allegany County,” Allegany County State's Attorney Michael O. Twigg. "Many months were spent on this investigation, which resulted in crippling the flow of illegal narcotics into our county.

"Let this serve as fair warning to those individuals who bring this poison into our community,” he said.

Police said large amounts of suspected fentanyl, heroin, crack cocaine, drug-related cash and firearms were seized when police from various agencies raided city homes in the 300 block of City View Terrace, Boone Street, the 100 block of Mechanic Street, the 400 block of Baltimore Avenue and West First Street on May 25. Warrants were also served on East Main Street in Frostburg and Old Furnace Road in Mineral County, West Virginia.

Thirteen guns, more than 1,200 grams of fentanyl with a street value of more than $192,000, more than 99 grams of heroin with a street value of about $16,000 and more than 475 grams of cocaine with a street value of more than $47,500 were reportedly seized.

Police allege Thomas obtained the drugs from Bronx and distributed them in Allegany County and nearby West Virginia.

He and his associates were also allegedly manufacturing fentanyl and heroin pills that mimicked prescription opioid pills.

Thomas was being held Thursday without bond at the Allegany County Detention Center, where he’s been since his May 25 arrest.

Also indicted were:

• Byron Jamar Simms, 31, Frostburg, 30 counts of drug and firearm-related offenses.

• Anthony Robert Joyner, Cumberland, 12 counts of drug and firearm-related offenses.

• Raymond William Seabrook, Cumberland, 43 counts of drug and firearm-related offenses.

• Akosua Denise Seabrook, Cumberland, 29 counts of drug and firearm-related offenses.

• Jakela Tonice Watkins, Cumberland, one drug-related offense.

• Leonard Wayne Metzner, Cumberland, three counts of drug-related offenses.

• Mark Feodor Smith Sr., 54, Cumberland, one drug-related offense.

• Michelle Beth Kline, Cumberland, one drug-related offense.

• Sandra Diane Rust, Bedford, Pennsylvania, six counts of drug-related offenses.

• Reginald Murray, 51, Cumberland, one drug-related offense.

• Shane Lee York, 47, Cumberland, two counts of drug-related offenses.

• Shawn Alan Mullaney, Cumberland, one drug-related offense.

• Stephanie Ann Blickenstaff, 39, Cumberland, one drug-related offense.

• Terry Lee Harris, Keyser, West Virginia, one drug-related offense.

• Alexis Nicol Fisher, Frostburg, three counts of drug-related offenses.

• Brian Borden, 38, Cumberland, two counts of drug-related offenses.

• Clayton Shaquille Booker, Cumberland, one drug-related offense.

• Cierra Desiree VanMeter, Cumberland, one drug-related offense.

• David Dean Howe Jr., Bedford, six counts of drug-related offenses.

• Emily Nicole Mitchell, Cumberland, two counts of drug-related offenses.

In recent years, there has been a rise in the number of drug-related overdose deaths in Maryland, an escalation largely attributable to increases in opiate-related abuse, authorities said.

In 2019, there were 119 non-fatal and 24 fatal overdoses reported in Allegany County. So far in 2020, the rate of overdoses in the county has increased with 83 non-fatal and 18 fatal overdoses reported.

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