From the Harford County Sheriff’s Office:
[January 15, 2015, Bel Air, MD] In an effort to find new solutions to Harford County’s growing heroin problems, Sheriff Gahler, in partnership with police departments in Bel Air, Aberdeen and Havre de Grace as well as the Maryland State Police, has changed the protocols for Law Enforcement responding to reports of drug overdoses in Harford County.
Recognizing at each scene, there is intelligence that can be gathered, beginning January 1, a narcotics investigator responds to every overdose, both fatal and non-fatal. Once the overdose victim is medically treated, the investigation must continue. Investigators will gather information on how drugs are moving into the County, who is supplying the drugs, and where addicts are going to buy drugs. This information is critical to the fight against heroin.
As a result of this protocol, investigators began gathering information on a non-fatal overdose that occurred in Bel Air on January 7, 2015. That investigation led them to identify two individuals that were suspected in the distribution of heroin. They were identified as, Michael Phillips, II and Jessica Adams, both of the 3200 block of Sharon Road, in Jarrettsville. On January 14, 2015 at approximately 11:25 pm, both Phillips and Adams were observed, by Harford County Drug Task Force members, participating in a suspected drug deal on Yorkshire Drive in Edgewood, MD. The suspects were subsequently arrested and charged with possession with the intent to distribute heroin for this incident, and additionally charged with distribution of heroin in connection to a January 7th non-fatal overdose in Harford County. Phillips and Adams were taken to the Harford County Detention Center where they are being held without bail.
Both Phillips and Adams were recently featured on an episode of Drugs, Inc. that reported on heroin distribution in Baltimore and the surrounding counties. They were scheduled to begin serving sentences at the Harford County Detention Center next week for previous heroin distribution convictions in Harford County. On the arrest, Sheriff Gahler offered, “It was clear to me, at each overdose scene, there was valuable intelligence that was being missed. This is just the first step to eradicating heroin from our communities. I am proud of the dedication and hard work my deputies give to this important cause.”