WEST OCEAN CITY — The hits kept coming this week for a man already facing felony drug distribution and assault charges following a raid on a business he partially owns in December.
Last Dec. 18, allied local law enforcement agencies executed search and seizure warrants at a screen printing and promotional products company in West Ocean City that is owned in part by Matthew John Brown, 35, as well as his wife and mother in-law. As a result, Brown was later indicted by a Worcester County grand jury on multiple drug possession and distribution charges after the investigation revealed he was allegedly dealing marijuana, LSD and PCP out of the West Ocean City business after hours, unbeknownst to his family and business partners.
The Worcester County grand jury indicted Brown on four counts, the most severe of which is felony possession with intent to distribute LSD and PCP, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine. Brown also faces felony marijuana distribution charges, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a $15,000 fine. Brown also faces two misdemeanor charges for possession of LSD, PCP and marijuana.
According to sources, Brown’s wife and mother in-law worked the legitimate West Ocean City apparel business by day, while Brown presumably contributed to the daily operation by working at night. However, after the raid in December it became apparent he allegedly wasn’t doing just legitimate company business after hours.
Brown was indicted by the grand jury on Jan. 15 and was later released on bond. During a preliminary hearing in February, Brown entered pleas of not guilty to the charges handed down by the grand jury.
To add insult to injury, Brown was arrested again on Feb. 18 on second-degree assault and false imprisonment charges after allegedly attacking his wife at their business and locking her in the office against her will. The victim has since filed for divorce. In that case, Brown was held initially without bond, but was later released on a $25,000 bond.
Brown was back in trouble again this week, although on a much lesser scale. On Monday, he was cited for operating a vehicle while using a handheld phone.
A jury trial is planned in Worcester County Circuit Court on the drug charges for May 8, while the second-degree assault and false imprisonment case will be heard in Worcester County District Court on March 22.