NORTH EAST — A couple is facing several charges after an Interstate 95 traffic stop near North East ended with investigators confiscating nearly a half-pound of suspect fentanyl — a synthetic opiate that has been listed as the cause of death in 77 percent of Cecil County’s 28 fatal heroin-related overdoses thus far in 2018, police reported
Maryland State Police Tfc. Isaac Caraway stopped a Nissan Rogue with a New York license plate in the southbound lane of I-95 near North East at about 12:30 p.m. Saturday because it was the traveling too closely behind a vehicle, police said.
Because the trooper smelled marijuana coming from inside the Nissan, police added, he and dispatched investigators searched the vehicle and the two suspects — Derrick Kenneth Johnson, 27, of Baltimore, and his front-seat passenger, Tierra Ericka Nikole Flood, 28, of Essex.
Investigators confiscated 217 grams of suspect fentanyl contained in green shrink wrap, which had been stashed inside Flood’s pants, according to Cecil County District Court records. It was found during a pat-down search, after investigators had noticed that Flood’s pants were bulging, court records show.
Searchers also seized a gram of marijuana, after finding it inside a purse on the front passenger’s seat, and three pills of suspect oxycodone, a prescription painkiller that was found inside Johnson’s sock, police reported.
Police arrested Flood and Johnson at approximately 3 p.m., some two and a half hours after the traffic stop that led to the search, and then transported them to MSP’s JFK Barrack near Perryville, before taking them to a district court commissioner who determined that they should be held without bond, court records show.
Flood and Johnson remained in the Cecil County Detention Center until Monday, when Johnson posted a $20,000 bond and Flood was released on an unsecured $5,000 bond, after a judge reduced their bonds during a bail review hearing earlier that day, according to court records.
Each is charged with five offenses, including dispensing a large amount of fentanyl and possession of a large amount of fentanyl, and both are scheduled for a June 6 preliminary hearing, court records show.
Fentanyl is a manmade substance that is 50 times stronger than morphine and, for approximately the past year and a half, investigators, crime analysts and Ray Lynn, who is Cecil County’s heroin coordinator, have noted its presence in a high percentage of this county’s fatal heroin-related overdoses. It also has been found in much of the heroin and, to a lesser degree, other drugs confiscated in Cecil County, police added.