A New York woman is facing a cocaine trafficking charge in what the Edgartown police chief said was one of the biggest drug busts in recent memory.
Mitefea Kelly, 18, was arraigned Friday morning in Edgartown district court after being arrested Thursday for allegedly carrying more than 270 grams of cocaine.
Judge H. Gregory Williams set bail at $200,000. Cape and Islands assistant district attorney Laura Marshard told the court the Martha’s Vineyard Drug Task Force had received information that Ms. Kelly had been coming to the Island to sell cocaine in the Ocean Heights area of Edgartown.
Defense attorney Ryan Searle, representing Ms. Kelly, told the court that Ms. Kelly was entering ninth grade and asked that her client be released on personal recognizance.
Ms. Marshard said that Ms. Kelly would come for a week at a time and then go back to New York, and she would associate with a group of men from New York. Ms. Marshard added that men would usually come to the Island with a female who would “mule” the drugs.
Ms. Marshard said that on August 9, Ms. Kelly was observed arriving on a bus at Woods Hole. Police approached her as she was getting off the ferry in Oak Bluffs and questioned her, Ms. Marshard said, and Ms. Kelly allegedly became loud and started singing. Police allegedly found wrapped packages containing more than 270 grams of cocaine in her suitcase. The street value of the drugs would be $30,000, Ms. Marshard said.
The charge has a mandatory sentence of 15 years in a house of correction, Ms. Marshard said.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Sept. 6.
Also arraigned following an arrest on Thursday was Terrence Bell, 34, of Queens Village, N.Y., who police said has been the subject of an ongoing narcotics investigation and who they believe is the boss of the operation and conspired with Ms. Kelly to transport the cocaine to the Vineyard.
Mr. Bell was arrested in Woods Hole on an outstanding warrant Thursday and transported to the Vineyard, according to police.
He was arraigned in district court on charges from January of breaking and entering in the daytime for a felony, two counts of malicious destruction of property more than $250, and intimidation of a witness. Bail was set at $15,000. The charges stem from a drug deal in Vineyard Haven, police and district attorneys said. According to police he fled the Vineyard because he knew police were looking for him.
Mr. Bell sat in front of Ms. Kelly in the courtroom Friday, and during a recess court officers moved him to the other end of the bench.