Warrant Details Drug Trafficking That Led To Raid
One of the co-owners of the Otter House, and his brother, were charged with possession of marijuana; owner says "we made a committment to try and make sure these things do not happen."
Fredericksburg detectives had been conducting an extensive drug investigation around the apartments atop 1009 Princess Anne St. and the Otter House for seven months before an early morning raid of both places Friday, according to a search warrant affidavit.
No one has been charged as a result of the raid of both places Friday morning. Detectives found few drugs at both locations, according to the search warrant inventory.
Three additional individuals were detained in the vicinity while the searches were being conducted, police said. Shelby Pinlac Barker, 19, of Stafford was arrested and charged with possession of schedule II narcotics. Jamaal Hines, 20, of Fredericksburg was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. A third subject was released without charges. An arrest does not mean a conviction.
An affidavit shows that searches began Dec. 28, 2011, when Fredericksburg detectives searched 1408 Littlepage St., the residence of Otter House co-owner Steve Cameli and his brother, Joshua Cameli, a server and cook.
The affidavit states that 2.27 ounces of marijuana were found and both men were charged.
On April 18, the affidavit said an officer saw a man urinating in a trash can in the alley outside Otter House. That man was identified as Michael Acors. Otter House co-owener Paul Stoddard said Acros is a former employee of the Otter House. Police recovered three bags of marijuana from him and he was charged and released, according to the affidavit.
“After being released on a summons, Acors sent a text to an unknown party. An unknown white male that usually stands in front of 1009 Princess Anne St. opened his phone and stated, ‘Ah [expletive] he just got popped,'" the affidavit stated. "This unknown white male then walked over and spoke to several individuals that were sitting on the deck of the Otter House.”
Around this same time, the affidavit said officers started to watch activity at 1009 Princess Anne St. and Otter House. The same unknown man linked to Acors was often seen standing outside the door of the apartment and letting people in and out, according to the affidavit. The affidavit said people would stay for five or 10 minutes and then the unknown man would leave with them and lock the door behind him.
According to the affidavit, on May 4, the vice narcotics unit conducted a controlled buy with an informant from Jose Pendleton, known as “Smoke.” The informant told detectives “Smoke” would allegedly sell drugs at the bar and often made Thursday nights his business night at Otter House, the affidavit said. An undercover agent went to Otter House that same night and saw “Smoke” make what appeared to be several transactions, according to the affidavit.
“They stated that he carried his drugs in a bag that was attached to his inner waist band,” the affidavit stated.
Otter House co-owner Paul Stoddard said he has never heard of anyone known as "Smoke" and that he hired a security team to check everyone before they enter the bar. "We pay them a lot of money to make sure that's not happening," he said. "We made a committment to try and make sure these things do not happen."
Additional Timeline of Events
According to the affidavit (attached to this article as a PDF):
- On May 7, police were dispatched to 509 Pitt St. for a reported robbery. The victims of that robbery said the black man with his face covered and wielding a shotgun told them he was looking for Darryl Wood. The victims said that Wood did not live there but they knew he worked at Otter House; Wood lives at 1009 Princess Anne St, the affidavit states. Stoddard said Wood is also a former employee of the Otter House.
- On June 22, police were dispatched to Otter House for a fight in progress. The affidavit states that several people were arrested, “some of which have gang ties and narcotics violations.”
- On July 4, the affidavit said a police sergeant met with a person who called to complain about the high amount of foot traffic coming out of 1009 Princess Anne St. The affidavit said that the sergeant went to Hyperion across the street and observed while drinking a coffee. Over that 35 minutes, he saw seven people enter and exit the apartments at 1009 Princess Anne St. He also observed a white male walk across the street to two different vehicles for about 30 seconds and then the man would return to the apartments.
- On July 11, the sergeant and a detective observed 1009 Princess Anne St. and in less than 45 minutes they saw 11 people enter the apartments there. One female returned to her car to get something and noticed the detective and sergeant before she returned to 1009 Princess Anne St., where she was met at the door by Darryl Wood. The affidavit states Wood walked across the street and around the block and then back to the apartments, where he allegedly stuck up his middle finger at the officers. The detective and the sergeant continued to observe 1009 Princess Anne St. and saw two other males with back packs enter the residence, the affidavit stated.
The affidavit stated that on July 12, an officer responded to 1009 Princess Anne St. for an assault. A female victim and Darryl Wood met the officer outside the apartment and they would not grant permission to let the officer inside, said the affidavit. The document said that on the same night, an officer pulled a vehicle over that was thought to be involved in a drug transaction.
“The individual that was in possession of marijuana on this stop gave information on 1009 Princess Anne St. He stated that there was a guy that lived in the upstairs rear apartment by the name of Chris that was dealing heroin," according to the affidavit.
The affidavit states that police later found out that this man was the same white male who they would see in front of 1009 Princess Anne St.
Through further investigation, detectives discovered the occupants and guests of 1009 Princess Anne St. are connected to the employees and staff of the Otter House at 1005 Princess Anne St., and “that both locations are being used as meeting and gathering places for individuals to distribute illegal narcotics," according to the affidavit.
Stoddard said he is disappointed the Otter House is getting tied to the activity that was alleged to have taken place at the apartments inside 1009 Princess Anne St. He said he is considering making changes to Thursday nights when Otter House usually has a dance party with DJs.
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