County sheriff's deputies charged a man with 24 separate drug offenses and two counts of illegal possession of firearms after a weekslong investigation.
In October, deputies began scrutinizing Jonathan Robert Blackman, 30, of the 5900 block of Howard Farm Road in Frederick. Informants tipped the deputies off to several drug deals that took place in and around the city between Oct. 8 and Nov. 24, according to charging documents filed in Frederick County District Court.
The investigation resulted in not only Blackman's arrest on Nov. 24, but also in the arrests of several others whom police and deputies caught buying drugs from Blackman over the last several weeks.
More details regarding arrests and possible future arrests associated with the case will likely be made available this morning at a news conference held by the Frederick County Sheriff's Office at the county Law Enforcement Center.
Frederick County State's Attorney Charlie Smith declined to comment in detail regarding the charges, but he said he will be present at the news conference.
“We've worked a very long time hand in hand with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office on this investigation that's resulted in 26 charges being placed against Mr. Blackman,” Smith said when reached for comment Monday. “The details of that investigation are going to be addressed by Sheriff (Chuck) Jenkins tomorrow.”
Deputy First Class Amanda Hatcher said more information would be available at the news conference, adding that more arrests are likely to be made in connection with the investigation.
“There have been a lot of people who will be charged but haven't been charged yet,” Hatcher said.
Informants played a key role in cluing deputies in to Blackman's activities, according to charging documents.
The first tip the sheriff's office received led Cpl. Jeremy Holler to Society Circle, where he watched Blackman meet with a woman for a crack cocaine sale at about 2:20 p.m. Oct. 8, according to charging documents.
Holler watched the interaction, then cornered the woman after the deal and called in Cpl. Jeffrey Eyler and his police dog, Olik, who detected drugs in the woman's vehicle. The woman later agreed to talk with deputies, the charging documents state.
The next deal informants told deputies about took place at 8:51 p.m. Oct. 14 along Partners Court, the documents state. Deputies stopped three people, including a juvenile, in a vehicle after the deal and a passenger in the car handed over a gram of heroin to investigators, the charging documents state.
A total of four more drug deals, for both crack and heroin, were reported to sheriff's deputies Nov. 24, all involving Blackman selling drugs to others who were approached by sheriff's deputies after each deal, the documents state.
In some cases, those approached by deputies willingly handed over drugs to the deputies while others were sniffed out by Olik under Eyler's supervision, the documents state.
One woman whom deputies approached after a deal provided police with someone else's license when asked for her identification and another woman admitted to police that she hid 4 grams of heroin purchased from Blackman down her pants, the documents state.
The Frederick County Sheriff's Office's Narcotics Task Force and the Special Services Team served a search warrant at Blackman's apartment at 7:20 p.m. Nov. 24, where they found Blackman and another man, Jeffrey Michael Lee, 28.
A search of the apartment revealed a bag with about 300.5 grams of heroin, two bags with 16.4 grams of crack cocaine, seven bags with a combined 971.8 grams of marijuana in them and $30,000 in cash, charging documents state.
Deputies also found a small amount of marijuana when they searched Lee, and a silver and black Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun with its serial number removed was found under Blackman's bed, along with several stacks of cash, the documents state.
Blackman was charged with 15 counts related to the possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance and eight counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance other than marijuana, according to court records.
Blackman was also charged with a single count each of possession of marijuana, possession of a rifle or shotgun by a convicted felon and illegal possession of a firearm, court records indicate.
Lee was charged with a single count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance, according to court records.
Blackman could face up to 203 years in prison and a maximum fine of $486,000 if he is convicted of every charge, according to charging documents.
Four other officers assisted in the investigation: Sgt. Gary Cline, Deputy First Class Jason Hansberger, Deputy First Class David Keefer and Deputy Brian Woodward.
A Frederick County District Court judge ordered Blackman held without bail in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center until his preliminary hearing, set for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 23, court records indicate.
Follow Jeremy Arias on Twitter: @Jarias_Prime.