Delaware State Police arrested eight people this week during Operation Thunder Clap, a raid that yielded about 4 ½ pounds of cocaine with a street value of $100,000, police said.
More than 100 law enforcement officers from various Delaware and Maryland police agencies searched 10 homes late Monday and early Tuesday. It was the latest development in a three-month-long investigation into a cocaine distribution ring operated by members of the Thunderguards Motorcycle Club, said DSP spokesman Sgt. Paul Shavack.
The raid included homes in Bear, Middletown, Newark, New Castle and Elkton, and the Thunderguards Motorcycle Club Clubhouse in the 2800 block of Northeast Blvd. in Wilmington, he said.
Investigators confiscated 2,378 grams of cocaine, which exceeds two kilos and has a street value of about $100,000 Shavack said. A kilo translates to 2.2 pounds.
Officers also seized 167 grams, or about a third of a pound of marijuana, and nearly $42,000 in cash, police reported.
The raids also yielded a cocaine press, digital scales and “paraphernalia related to the packaging and distribution of illegal drugs,” Shavack said.
Officers also confiscated five handguns and 11 long guns, including an assault-style rifle and shotguns, and nine vehicles, police said.
The seizure list includes “Thunderguards Motorcycle Club insignia-type clothing,” Shavack said.
“(We) have completed a successful unrelenting fight against drug-related activities conducted by members and associates of the Thunderguards Motorcycle Club in Delaware,” Shavack said.
More than 100 law enforcement officers from various agencies assisted DSP during the investigation and raids, he said.
“Operation Thunder Clap consisted of a three-month-long investigation which targeted a cocaine distribution network in New Castle County by the Thunderguards Motorcycle Club," Shavack said. "The Delaware State Police were able to identify and arrest key figures who distributed illegal drugs throughout New Castle County and Delaware.”
The following seven men and one woman are facing criminal charges, according to a DSP news release:
· Ernest E. Saunders, Jr., 35, of New Castle, remained in the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington in lieu of $4.5 million bond on Wednesday.
· Arthur M. Blount, 46, of New Castle, was in custody at that jail in lieu of $111,250 bond.
· Mark Singleton, 39, of Middletown, was held there in lieu of $151,600 bond.
· Armar C. Womack, 55, of Middletown, was held there in lieu of $318,750 bond.
· Marquita S. Charlton, 29, of Middletown, was held at Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in lieu of $318,750 bond.
· James A. Robertson, 44, of New Castle, was held at the Howard R. Young Institution in lieu of $7,500 bond.
· Enrico F. Verucci, Sr., 51, of Middletown, was held at that jail in lieu of $73,000 bond.
· Bryan K. Verucci, 29, of Middletown, also was held there in lieu of $73,000 bond.