UPDATE (10:13 p.m.)—Matt Kolakowski, owner of , which is across the street from , is among 14 people arrested and charged as a result of an undercover drug investigation by the .
A manager at the store said Monday that the business has no connection to the allegations, and that Kolakowski got himself into trouble loaning money to the wrong person.
More than 3,000 pills valued at about $90,000, along with cocaine, marijuana, steroids, 19 firearms, 10 vehicles and $30,000 cash were seized in the raid, which took place during an eight-hour period in Harford, Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties the night of April 14 into the morning of April 15, police said.
"This has been one of the larger drug investigations ever conducted in Harford County," Sheriff Jesse Bane said at a news conference Monday.
used wiretaps and an anonymous tip to gather evidence before executing 31 court-issued search and seizure warrants.
Of the 14 people arrested, 10 are Harford County residents, including three from Bel Air, two from Abingdon and one from Fallston.
“They were turning a substantial profit each day," Lt. Lee Dunbar said at the news conference. He added that those buying drugs from the accused ranged in age from "high school to elderly."
Dunbar would not say if any businesses were being used as cover for the operations.
“That part of the investigation is ongoing," he said.
Kolakowski, 29, of the 1900 block of Glenroths Drive in Abingdon, was charged with conspiracy to distribute and manufacture a controlled dangerous substance, identified by police as Oxycodone.
Police said Ronnie Stocks, 33, of the 700 block of Shallow Ridge Court in Abingdon, was the "leader" of the operation. He is charged with distributing cocaine and multiple counts of distributing and conspiring to distribute Oxycodone.
Dave Anderson, a manager at Gus's, told Patch that Kolakowski is a general manager, not an owner. In a , Kolakowski and his father-in-law, Gus Verginakis, identified themselves as co-owners. The store's Web site listed Kolakowski as "owner/founder" Monday afternoon.
Anderson said he was surprised to hear of the charges against his boss and added that the business is not connected to them.
"No, sir. Not at all," the manager said while working at the store Monday. "Matt's an extremely awesome person. ... It's a misunderstanding."
Anderson said the charges are for a loan gone bad.
"My only comment would be that you have to be aware who you're loaning money to," Anderson said. "I'm just shocked at the allegations."
In a later telephone conversation with Patch, Anderson said only Verginakis's name was on all the "licenses and everything" related to owning the store.
“He was just trying to help his son-in-law out and give him a job," Anderson said. "[Gus] is trying to distance the store [from Matt]."
When told Kolakowski was listed as an "owner" and "founder" on the site, Anderson said, "I'll go change that right now."
As of 9 p.m., Kolakowski's photo had been removed from the site and his bio read, "General Manager Innocent until proven guilty…."
Anderson said Kolakowski was arrested late Thursday after attending the viewing for his wife's grandmother and has been in the Harford County Detention Center since.
In addition to Stocks and Kolakowski, the following people were charged:
Sean C. Holloway, 36, of the 5800 block of Dillon John Court in White Marsh; charged with one count of conspiring to distribute cocaine and conspiring to distribute Oxycodone.
Joseph M. Ercolano, 32, of the 2200 block of Watervale Road in Fallston; Eric M. Smith II, 34, of the 8100 block of Ridgetown Drive in Nottingham; and Gregory P. Sobieski, 25, of the 900 block of Jessica’s Lane in Bel Air; charged with two counts each of conspiring to distribute Oxycodone.
Brent S. Musgrove, 36, of the 1900 block of Perryman Road in Aberdeen; William C. Kendall, 44, of the 200 block of Bright Oaks Drive in Bel Air; Kenneth J. Darr, 36, of the 200 block of Castlestone Drive in Rosedale; Sharon Gillums, 50, of the 400 block of Oak Street in Edgewood; Taaz A. Robinson of the 100 block of Hanover Street in Aberdeen; and Curtis L. Carter of the 2200 block of Apollo Trail in Havre de Grace; charged with one count each of conspiring to distribute Oxycodone.
Wilbert Whitaker III, 24, of the 1300 block of Gateshead Drive in Bel Air; charged with distributing Oxycodone.
Ryan C. Sturm, 27, of the 8400 block of Bellona Lane in Towson; charged with possession of Oxycodone.
Dunbar said additional state and federal indictments are expected and that the investigation is ongoing.