Four have been served with the indictments.
Baltimore, Md (KM) Six Washington County residents have been indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl. The indictment was issued on February 21st, and unsealed on Tuesday, March 5th when four of the suspects were arrested.
The defendants are identified as:
Lekeith Dion Mitchell, 49, of Hagerstown, Md.
Gary Lee Washington, 38, Smithsburg, Md.
Joenna Marie Nicewarner, 33, of Hagerstown
Lama Junior Jean-Pierre, 36,of Fairplay, Md.
Dustin Ray Stipes, 35, and Nyana Angelina Cheese, 28, both of Hagerstown, are also charged with conspiracy to distribute tentanyl. Federal official say they still remain at large.
The US Attorney’s Office for Maryland says Mitchell is also charged with possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, maintaining a drug-involved premises, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Washington is also charged with possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a felon in possession of a fentanyl.
According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to distribute fentanly in Hagerstown and the surrounding area from September through December, 2018. . Federal officials say Mitchell used his home to manufacture, store, distribute and use fentanyl. Washington is charged with possessing a semi-automatic rifle in furtherance of drug trafficking on December 17th, 2018, and February 1st, 2019, Mitchell is charged with possessing four loaded firearms, according to the indictments.
The US Attorney’s Office says both men have previous felony convictions and are prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
During the course of the investigation, authorities confiscated more than two kilograms of fentanyl. Federal officials say just two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, and two kilograms of fentanyl is enough to kill 1-million people, which is 25 times the population of Hagerstown.
The indictment seeks the forfeiture of $127,241.25 in cash seized during the investigation as well as 12 luxury watches.
The US Attorney’s Office says an indictment is not a finding of guilt, and all defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
By Kevin McManus