Several complaints from neighbors about drug sales and prostitution led Frederick police to make three arrests at a house in the Carrollton neighborhood late last week.
The department began investigating the property, in the 400 block of Center Street, in early May after receiving complaints from neighbors saying they suspected drugs were being sold at the house and mentioning possible prostitution, the release states. Michael Shawn Cole, 43, was identified as the homeowner, and police established that two women, Mera Nichole Fraley, 28, and Antashia Smith, 24, were also staying at the house and were likely involved in the reported suspicious activity.
During a period of surveillance at about 8 p.m. May 14, an officer saw a white truck pull in front of the house and idle for a minute before driving away, only for Fraley to walk out of the house a few minutes later on her phone, according to charging documents filed in county district court. As the officer watched, Fraley walked to a nearby apartment complex parking lot where the truck was parked. A short time later, the truck drove back to the house and Fraley got out of the passenger’s seat.
The officer followed the truck when it left the area and pulled it over for a traffic violation a short time later, the documents state. The officers saw a used condom in the truck, and the driver, who was not charged and was not identified in the documents, admitted to the officer that he had just paid Fraley for sex.
Police continued to watch the house and use traffic stops to gain evidence of illegal activity, including a drug sale that was uncovered later on May 14 and another driver who admitted to paying Fraley for sex on May 15, according to the documents.
A search warrant was served on the house at 5:25 a.m. Friday based on the evidence, and officers took all three occupants into custody after six glass crack pipes and other drug paraphernalia were seized, the documents state.
Cole agreed to speak to police at headquarters, denying his involvement in any illegal activity while telling detectives that Fraley would frequently brag to him about how much money she made for performing sexual acts and how Smith would sometimes help Fraley coordinate with prospective clients, the documents state.
Cole, Fraley and Smith were each charged with possession of crack cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and maintaining a disorderly house, and two counts related to committing a nuisance by distributing or administering drugs, court records state.
At a bail review hearing Monday in Frederick County District Court, Judge Dino Flores Jr. ultimately decided to release both Cole and Smith from the county’s detention center on a written promise to appear in court, agreeing with an assistant public defender that Cole’s removal from the property and Smith’s small involvement in any alleged activities were enough to mitigate the risk of releasing them.
Flores was much stricter at Fraley’s hearing, identifying her as the person in the charging documents most involved with the alleged illegal activities and expressing skepticism when the assistant public defender asserted that Fraley had a job opportunity lined up if she were released. Fraley was denied bail and remained in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center as of Wednesday afternoon, court records state.