Former County ‘Kingpin’ Arrested After Police Altercation


BERLIN — Over two decades after his arrest and conviction on a single conspiracy to distribute cocaine charge after a grand jury identified him as the “kingpin” in a major drug distribution ring in Worcester County, Archie Elliott returned to the area this week and was promptly arrested after a scrap with local law enforcement.

Elliott, now 63, whose current address is listed as Myrtle Beach, was one of the key figures, or “kingpins,” identified in a 1988 grand jury investigation into a massive cocaine distribution ring in Worcester County. During the investigation, Elliott admitted he was a wholesaler who transported kilograms of cocaine to Worcester County from Florida. The drug was then distributed in the county by dealers further down the chain. At the top of the chain was Richard McCleary, who was later convicted and sentenced to a combined 40 years in prison for his role in the massive cocaine distribution ring.

Elliott, however, got off with a considerably lighter sentence after reaching an agreement with the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office and federal prosecutors in which he supplied information about those higher up in the chain and the mid-level dealers below him responsible for distributing cocaine in Ocean City and throughout the county.

In 1990, Elliott was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a single count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine. Prosecutors recommended a 15-year sentence with all but five years suspended, citing Elliott’s cooperation in the conviction of several other known dealers in the area including, most notably, McCleary, but a Worcester County Circuit Court judge sentenced Elliott to 15 years, the maximum allowed at the time. Elliott was also sentenced to 16 months in prison for federal tax evasion, a sentence lessened because of his cooperation.

On Monday, Elliott returned to the area and was arrested and charged with numerous offenses including trespassing and second-degree assault on an officer during a dispute outside his son’s residence in Berlin. A Worcester County Sheriff’s Department deputy responded to a residence on Old Ocean City Blvd. to assist the Department of Social Services with an escort in reference to a possible child abuse case.

Upon arrival, the deputy learned one of the residents of the home, identified as Archie Bradford Elliott, had recently had an Emergency Petition filed on his behalf by his father, Archie Burton Elliott. Another Worcester County Sheriff’s Department detective went to District Court in Ocean City to secure the emergency petition when he encountered the elder Elliott, who told the detective he intended to go to his son’s residence in Berlin in reference to the emergency petition, according to the police report.

Based on information provided earlier, the detective told Elliott he was not to go to the residence and that if he did, he would be considered trespassing and he would be arrested. According to police reports, Elliott “remained steadfast about going to the residence,” despite being warned not to do so by the detective. The detective then went to the residence with the emergency petition and Elliott showed up a short time later.

According to police reports, Elliott was asked three times to leave the residence or he would be arrested for trespassing, to which he issued an expletive-laden refusal to comply. At that point, the sheriff’s department detective informed Elliott he was under arrest for trespassing and attempted to take the suspect into custody.

The detective was able to get one handcuff on Elliott, who continued to struggle and resist and at one point yanked his arm away and shoved the officer in the chest in an attempt to get away. The two officers were eventually able to secure Elliott in both handcuffs, but the suspect continued to resist, according to police reports. Throughout the entire encounter, Elliott continued to resist and struggled with the officers, placing his legs locked out in front of him, making it difficult for the officers to move the suspect in any direction.

At that point, the two officers physically dragged Elliott across the driveway of the residence in order to get him into a patrol car. At some point during the struggle, Elliott began bleeding from several lacerations, which were present prior to his encounter with the officers on Monday, according to police reports. Also during the struggle, one of the detectives suffered a laceration on his left elbow. Once Elliott was secured in the vehicle, the detective discovered his own wound had come in contact with the bleeding wounds on Elliott, who told the officer he had tested positive for Hepatitus B and that “I hope you get infected,” according to police reports.

Elliott was charged with trespassing, second-degree assault on a police officer, resisting and interfering with an arrest and failure to obey a lawful order. Despite the severity of the charges and his past history, and the fact he was an out-of-state resident, Elliott was released on his own recognizance after an appearance before a District Court Commissioner.

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