Heroin Dealer Receives 50-Year Sentence

He was convicted on heroin-related offenses in Feb.


Frederick, Md (KM). A major heroin dealer in Frederick was handed a lengthy prison sentence on Monday in Circuit Court. Chauncey Coates, 39, of Hagerstown was given a total of 50 years behind bars in the Division of Corrections.

State’s Attorney Charlie Smith says Coates was found guilty in February of heroin-related offenses. “He was convicted by a jury back in February of this year of conspiracy to distribute heroin as well as possession with intent to distribute heroin for events back in 2016,” he says.

On February 8th, a jury found Coates guilty of conspiracy to distribute heroin, possession with intent to distribute heroin, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of heroin in connection with an incident on August 17th, 2018. Coates was also convicted of distribution of heroin for an incident which occurred on August 31st.

The State’s Attorney’s Office says it sought to 25-years in each case due to Coates status as a felony repeat narcotics offender.

“This was the result of a long term investigation that happened back in 2016. It was conducted jointly by the Frederick Police Department, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office along with {the Department of} Homeland Security,” says Smith. “He was identified as a large scale heroin trafficker operating in Frederick.”

According to the State’s Attorney’s Office, investigators observed Coates do a hand-to-hand drug transaction on August 17th, 2016, in the 1000 block of Weest Patrick Street in Frederick. The buyer left the scene in a vehicle, and a traffic stop was conducted in which the buyer was a passenger. Police found syringes in plain sight and the buyer told authorities that he had just purchased heroin. Coates could not be apprehended at the time, but investigators were able to obtain Coates’ cell phone number. After getting  a court order, they  were able  to track down the location of the mobile phone to a Super 8 Motel in Greencastle, Pennsylvania.

On August 31st, 2016, a state trooper made a traffic stop on Coates’ vehicle as he was coming into Maryland. A police canine was called to the scene to do a sniff.   21 grams of heroin packed in a 30 individual bags were found on a female occupant who was the driver.

Police seized the defendant’s cell phone. After receiving a search warrant, investigators reviewed text messages from the phone which indicated drug distribution.

The Pennsylvania State Police were notified, and they conducted search and seizure warrant on Coates’ motel room, and found 67.5-grams of heroin.

“In my opinion, he earned every day of his sentence, as I told the court,” says Smith. “He has a cocaine PWID–possession with intent to distribute–in Washington County.”

He says Coates was not an addict selling heroin to support his habit, but a dealer who was in it for the money.


By Kevin McManus