An investigation into the distribution of narcotics from two Atlantic City residential buildings resulted in the arrest of 10 people and the recovery of multiple handguns and drugs, authorities said.
Detectives recovered three handguns, 1,050 bags of heroin, three pounds of ecstasy, more than seven ounces of methamphetamine, 1.5 ounces of cocaine and nearly $14,000 in cash, according to Atlantic City police.
On Thursday, members of the DEA Liberty Mid-Atlantic High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force, Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, and Atlantic City Police Department Special Investigations Section and SWAT Team made simultaneous warranted searches at six apartments within the Madison Hotel in the beach block of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and one apartment in the Lighthouse Plaza located in the 300 block of Atlantic Avenue, police said.
During the raid at the Lighthouse Plaza, an Atlantic City SWAT Team member shot a charging dog to prevent himself and other officers from being attacked, according to Lt. Kevin Fair, a spokesman for the Atlantic City Police Department.
The Fire Marshall from the Atlantic City Fire Department responded to the Madison Hotel after officers spotted numerous safety problems including fire exit doors being chained and padlocked shut.
They also found a first-floor stairwell door locked from the outside. In an emergency, anyone using the stairwell to exit the building would have been unable to get through the door to escape, Fair said.
“The Madison Hotel is a significant nuisance located within the heart of Atlantic City’s Tourism District,” according to Damon G. Tyner, Atlantic County Prosecutor. “In the past three years there have been two homicides at this location. We will not permit drug dealers to set up shop, peddle poison and otherwise interfere with the quality of life of our residents and tourists.”
Four of the suspects were being held in the Atlantic County Justice Facility and various charges, including drug dealing, weapons possession and money laundering, authorities said.
They are : Alicia Gilliard, 34, of Atlantic City; Akeem Mills, 28, of Mays Landing; Malita Scarlett, 30, of Camden; and Evrod Walker, 39, of Atlantic City;
Six others were released on summonses on lesser charges with future court dates: Anthony Bailey, 46, of Atlantic City; Tyler Barrett, 28, of Atlantic City; Tracy Blackwell, 38, of Atlantic City; Shane Calareso-Hodges, 34, of Absecon; Michael Lombardi, 56, of Atlantic City; and Rasheed Phillips, 31, of Atlantic City.
The investigation was led by Detectives Will Herrerias, Ermindo Marsini, and Eric Evans of the Atlantic City Police Department.
Members of the DEA Special Response Team and Atlantic County Emergency Response Team assisted in Thursday's searches.
They were aided by numerous tips from residents and guests from each housing location, Fair said.
Anyone with information about the distribution of narcotics is urged to call the Atlantic City Police Department Special Investigations Section at 609-347-5858 or text anonymously to tip411 (847411). Begin the text with ACPD.
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