Suspected Cocaine Dealer Faces Federal Distribution Charges

BERLIN – A Berlin man
arrested in May in one of the most significant cocaine busts in recent county
history had the local charges against him dropped last week after he was
indicted earlier this month in U.S. District Court on federal drug distribution

The Worcester County
Sheriff’s Office criminal enforcement team this spring concluded a 10-month
investigation into cocaine distribution in the Berlin area with a grand jury
indictment on Tyrone Darnell Lawson, 37, of Berlin on a dozen charges. On May
20, the sheriff’s office criminal enforcement team executed search and seizure
warrants at three separate locations in Berlin from which Lawson was suspected
of operating his alleged drug distribution activities.

At one location alone,
detectives recovered 1,750 grams, or 1.7 kilograms, of cocaine and 59 grams of
marijuana, along with a scale and packaging materials consistent with dealing.

Lawson was subsequently
arrested on 12 counts related to the seizure as well as the indictment handed
down by the grand jury. The charges ranged from simple possession to possession
with intent to distribute, distribution in a school zone and conspiracy to
distribute-large amount. Also arrested at the time was Lawson’s brother, Tony
Deangelo Lawson, 43, who was implicated in the scheme during the search and

Last week, however, the
charges against Tyrone Lawson in Worcester County Circuit Court were dropped
after he was indicted in early August in U.S. District Court on federal drug
distribution charges stemming from the same search and seizure in May.
According to the federal charging documents, the sheriff’s office enforcement
team’s investigation into cocaine distribution in the Berlin area dated back to
the summer of 2009 and identified Lawson as a major distributor in the area.
The federal charging documents revealed investigators had determined Lawson was
utilizing various residences in the Berlin area other than his own in order to
avoid detection from law enforcement.

On May 20, officers
executed a search and seizure warrant at Tony Lawson’s residence on West Street
and discovered a locked shed on the premises. After Tony Lawson provided
detectives with a key to the shed, they discovered a large speaker box inside.
When the officers removed the speakers from the box, they found the large
amount of cocaine.