Police: “Operation Thunder Clap” nets $100,000 of cocaine
Five Middletown residents and three New Castle residents were arrested in a major drug raid that netted more than 2 kilos of cocaine. Police said that the three month long investigation connects members and associates of the Thunderguards Motorcycle Club to the cocaine distribution ring.
Five Middletown residents were among those arrested in "Operation Thunder Clap," an ongoing investigation into the drug related activities of the Thunderguards Motorcycle Club.
The three month long, undercover investigation, spearheaded by the Delaware State Police, targeted a cocaine distribution network in New Castle County by the Delaware motorcycle club, said Sgt. Paul Shavack.
"It was an undercover investigation that led to information on a cocaine distribution network operated by the Thunderguards," he said. "It started in August."
On Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, 10 search warrants were executed at 10 New Castle County locations and one in Elkton, Md. address, turning up more than 2,300 grams of cocaine, 167 grams of marijuana, $41,913 in cash, more than a dozen guns, and other paraphernalia, police said.
The street value of the more than 2 kilos of cocaine is $100,000, according to police.
The Thunderguards Motorcycle Club Clubhouse on Northeast Boulevard in Wilmington was searched, as well as residences in the unit block of Stanton Avenue in New Castle, the unit block of Craig Road in Bear, the 100 block of Halcyon Drive in New Castle, the 300 block of Paddington Drive of Bear, the unit block of Leeward Court of Elkton, the 100 block of Donhaven Drive in New Castle, the unit block of Haggis Road in Middletown, the 500 block of New Street in Middletown and the 100 block of Peachtree Lane in Middletown.
Police found 178 grams of cocaine and 46 grams of marijuana in the home on New Street, which they connected Armar C. Womack, 55, and Marquita S. Charlton, 29, both of Middletown. Digital scales, $2,000 in cash, and several pieces of Thunderguard clothing were also seized from the residence, police said.
At the Peachtree Lane address in Middletown, police connected Enrico F. Verucci, Sr., 51, and his son Bryan, 29, to the 9 grams of cocaine, 112 grams of marijuana, two handguns, four rifles, and six shotguns found at the home.
MDS Enterprises, which is located at 98 Albe Drive in Newark, was also searched.
"Operation Thunder Clap is an ongoing investigations with more arrests and indictments expected as the investigation progresses," Shavack said.
Police also seized a cocaine press, digital scales, five handguns, and 11 long guns, including an assault rifle.
State Police, New Castle County Police, Middletown Police, Dover Police, the Delaware Department of Corrections, the Office of Probation and Parole, the Department of Justice, the Maryland State Police, the Cecil County Drug Task Force and the FBI Baltimore SWAT are all involved in the ongoing investigation, which has led to eight arrests of club members and associates.
Mark Singleton, 39, of Middletown was connected to the residence on Haggis Road.
He was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia and committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on a $151,600 cash bond.
Both Verucci's were charged with possession with intent to deliver cocaine, possession of a firearm, conspiracy, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Police said that there was a 3-year-old boy in the Peachtree Lane residence at the time of the search.
Both were released on $73,000 unsecured bonds.
James A. Robertson, 44, of New Castle, was found by police at the Thunderguard Clubhouse in Wilmington, where he was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possession of a weapon with an obliterated serial number, and possession of a deadly weapon.
He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on a $7,500 cash bond.
Charlton and Womack were both charged with possession of cocaine and intent to deliver, endangering the welfare of a child, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Police said that a 9-year-old boy was at the New Street home at the time of the search.
Charlton was committed to the Baylor Women's Correction Institute on a $318,750 secured bond and Womack was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on a $318,750 secured bond.
New Castle resident Arthur M. Blount, 46, was connected to the Donhaven Drive residence and charged with possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana within a school zone, conspiracy, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on a $111,250 cash bond.
Ernest E. Saunders Jr., 35, of New Castle, was connected to the addresses on Halcyon and Paddington drives and charged with possession of cocaine, possession with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug property, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition.
Saunders was found with the two bricks of cocaine, which added up to 2 kilos.
He was committed to the Howard R. Young Correctional Institution on a $4.5 million secured bond.
The charges the eight individuals are facing are from the search warrants themselves, and not the entire investigation, Shavack said.