More drug arrests rattle
In a quiet community such as Emmitsburg, drug arrests are becoming far too
common for town resident
Brennan has known for awhile that problems were simmering, but three drug
arrests in less than two weeks have really gotten his attention, particularly
since one of the arrests happened behind his house.
At about 2:30 p.m., on July 13, Deputy Kevin Eyler of the Frederick County
Sheriff's Office was about to conduct a traffic stop when several people
flagged him down. They told him a man was passed out on North Avenue near
Deputy Jennifer Bailey, spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office, said Eyler
went to the scene and found a 28-year-old man face down on the roadway. Nearby,
a 25-year-old woman appeared to be passed out in the driver's seat of a
Volkswagen Jetta. She could not respond to the deputy's questions, Bailey said.
Both are residents of Pennsylvania.
The man and woman were taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital apparently under
the influence of alcohol or drugs, she said.
"We're not doctors, so we don't know without a toxicology report, and we
don't have one," Bailey said Friday.
During the investigation, drug paraphernalia and marijuana were discovered
in the vehicle. Items such as syringes, smoking devices and a spoon with burnt
markings on it were found and seized.
Eyler applied for charges against the woman, but no more information was
Brennan, spokesperson for
Emmitsburg Coalition to Prevent Substance Abuse, said the incident
shook him and his neighbors.
"I had people scared out of their wits. They were saying, 'Why is there a
guy laying in the alley? Why is he acting irrationally? What am I going to do
with my [child] who is seeing this?' ...It happened behind my house," he said.
Four days later, on July 17, Sheriff's Deputy Adam Gregory made a routine
traffic stop on Annandale Road at Hampton Valley Road.
The driver, Ryan N. Ecker, 21, of Frederick was reportedly driving on a
Two passengers in the car, Lance C. Stitely, 18, and Joseph K. Braz, 20, of
Fairfield, Pa. were arrested for possession of marijuana. Braz was also charged
with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Two days later, on July 19, Sgt. Troy Barrick of the Sheriff's Office
observed a Ford Bronco speeding in the 500 block of E. Main Street.
Barrick stopped the car, driven by Christopher M. Hollifield, 21, of
As he approached the car, Barrick reported he smelled marijuana. Marijuana
was found on Hollifield and in the vehicle, according to a report by the
The driver was arrested and charged with speeding, and possession of
marijuana and paraphernalia.
Brennan, a former town commissioner, said he is not surprised by the
arrests. He started the Emmitsburg Coalition to Prevent Substance Abuse about
one year ago to respond to the problems he heard about. Since then, drug
arrests in the area have gotten more attention.
After three drug-related incidents in April, Mayor Jim Hoover spoke to The
Gazette acknowledging the area has a problem with drugs and encouraged
residents to get involved before the problem became severe.
Though he considers the recent incidents upsetting, Brennan said he hopes
they will at least encourage more people to participate in the coalition and in
trying to find solutions to the growing substance abuse issues in the
"I'd like to have as many people as I can get [at the meetings]. I know
people are interested but they're not making the meetings," he said. "Anybody
that says drugs are not in the community, tell them it's happening in their
The next meeting of the Emmitsburg Coalition to Prevent Substance Abuse
will be in September. Representatives of the Frederick County Health Department
will talk about prevention and treatment programs. For more information about
the coalition, contact Ted Brennan at 301-447-3746.