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Heroin money laundered at casinos, police say
James Fisher, The News Journal
May 17, 2016
A 31-year-old Felton man, Deangelo Mcglotten, is the "ringleader" of a large-scale heroin distribution effort that a two-year police investigation just broke apart, authorities said announcing the indictment of Mcglotten and 12 other people on drug, conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering charges.
Police also said the investigation uncovered a money-laundering scheme that sent proceeds of illegal drug sales through casinos. A Georgetown businessman, Salman Choudhary, 37, was charged with involvement in organized crime, racketeering, money laundering, attempting to evade tax and failing to file tax returns. He was held on a bond of $1.7 million, the largest cash bond of any of the people indicted after what authorities called "Operation Duck Hunt."
"A heroin distribution ring operating in Kent and Sussex Counties was led by Deangelo Mcglotten along with his closest associates, Timothy Felix and Adrian Coverdale," said Nathaniel McQueen Jr., superintendent of the Delaware State Police. "The illegal proceeds of the drug organization were being laundered by Salman Choudhary through casinos, businesses and personal property."
Felix, 30, of Dover, faces eight criminal charges including drug dealing, conspiracy, racketeering and money laundering. He was held on $750,000 cash bond. Coverdale, 34, of Blades faces six similar charges and was held on $400,000 cash bond.
Police declined to specify exactly how the suspects allegedly laundered ill-gotten money at casinos, saying the investigation had not yet wrapped up and pointing out some of that information should be withheld pending the suspects' trials. "I know you have some good questions, but we have to hold off on that," Bratz told reporters.
Comments law enforcement officials made at the news conference suggested the alleged money laundering happened at the Dover Downs casino, and that discovering it was key to getting the investigation off the ground.
"It began as a possible money laundering case and evolved into one of the largest heroin seizures in Delaware, along with other asset seizures throughout Sussex County to include money, property and guns," said Greg Nolt, director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, at the news conference.
A DSP spokesman, Sgt. Richard Bratz, said the operation began in April 2014 and culminated in multiple search warrant executions and arrests on May 11. Earlier, on Jan. 13, he said, police searched Mcglotten's home and an Acura vehicle linked to him but didn't arrest him in connection with the probe until last week.
Still, Mcglotten had been detained on heroin-related charges during the course of the two-year probe. He was arrested by Dover police in July 2014 after a tip that he was in possession of a lot of heroin; at the time, police said 1,300 bags of heroin weighing 19.5 grams was in his car.
In all, police confiscated 1.75 kilograms of heroin during the investigation, with a street value of $1.2 million, Bratz said. On May 11, police arrested eight people, including Mcglotten, Choudhary, Felix and Coverdale.
Six others were indicted by a Sussex County grand jury but have not yet been located or arrested, police said. They are:
If anyone has any information in reference to the location of the listed wanted subjects, they are asked to contact Sgt. M. Dawson at (302) 752-3815. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333, via the Internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."
"Where possible, we want to try to eliminate entire networks of drug dealers and hold those at the very top of the organization responsible. The time and the effort necessary to do that is extensive," said Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn at a news conference in Georgetown. "We are going to continue to diligently pursue ops like this one, to disrupt trafficking operations and hold responsible those who put this poison into our communities, but until our state is successfully treating the addiction crisis that has gripped our state, the demand for these drugs is going to continue, and eventually new dealers are going to seek to replace these ones.”
Contact James Fisher at (302) 983-6772, on Twitter @JamesFisherTNJ or firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect number of people indicted. The correct number is 13 in all.