Four Month Investigation Leads To Seizure Of Guns, Suspected Fentanyl, $86,000

A four month long drug investigation results in the seizure of weapons, suspected fentanyl, marijuana, and drug proceeds, say Newport Police.

Officials said between January and April of 2020, Newport Police Officers initiated an investigation regarding Joseph Thomas, 28, of Wilmington and his involvement in the distribution of controlled substances.

During the course of the investigation, it was learned that Thomas was utilizing a storage unit in the 900 block of Red Lion Road. Through investigative measures, with the assistance of a Newark Police Department K-9 team, a search warrant was obtained for this storage unit on Tuesday, April 28th, 2020. During a search of the storage unit, officers said they located the following:

– 1 black Glock 9×19 handgun
– 1 black Smith & Wesson M&P 9 millimeter handgun (reported stolen)
– 1 silver Smith & Wesson Model 5906
– 1 Tennessee Arms AR-style handgun
– 1 High Point model 995 rifle
– 1 commercial sized pill press (capable of producing a large amount of pills)
– numerous calibers of live ammunition (.223, .9, .40, .45, .22)
– 1 large zip lock plastic bag containing pill binder
– 1 white bag/packaging material addressed to Joseph Thomas

A search warrant was obtained for Thomas’ residence located on W 26th Street in Wilmington. The search warrant was executed on Thursday, April 30th, 2020 with the assistance of the Wilmington Police Department Crisis Management Tactical Team. Thomas was taken into custody at his residence without incident.

Two additional search warrants were also obtained as apart of this investigation. A search warrant was obtained for a commercial garage, located in the 700 block of N DuPont Road in Wilmington, Delaware, that was leased by Thomas. The second additional search warrant was obtained for a residence in the unit block of Hillview Avenue in New Castle, Delaware.

As a result of each of these search warrants officers said they located the following:

-in excess of 3,000 grams of Suspected Fentanyl
-additional ammunition
-in excess of $86,000.00 of suspected drug proceeds

The Newport Police Department was also assisted by officers/agents from the following agency’s:
-Newark Police Department
-Department of Homeland Security Investigations
-New Castle County Police
-Delaware State Police
-Wilmington Police Department
-Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms

Thomas was charged with possession of a controlled substance in a tier 3 quantity, possession with the intent to deliver a controlled substance in a tier 3 quantity, possession of ammunition by a person prohibited (2x), possession of a controlled substance in a tier 1 quantity, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited (5x) operating a clandestine laboratory, possession of ammunition by a person prohibited, and receiving a stolen firearm.

He was released pending a future court appearance after receiving a secured bail.

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First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at

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