(from Roanoke PD) Roanoke Police, Star City Drug and Violent Crime Task Force seize large amount of fentanyl from Roanoke home.

Officers with the Star City Drug and Violent Crime Task Force conducted a search warrant on a residence in the 1100 block of 22nd Street NW on February 1, 2024. After months of investigation, officers had identified the resident of this address as a dangerous drug dealer and suspected there were large amounts of narcotics inside the home.

Officers entered the house and located large quantities of what was presumed to be loose fentanyl. They immediately left and secured the residence to wait for additional resources to safely search the home and collect evidence. Once the safety equipment arrived, officers entered the home and located large amounts of narcotics, firearms, and U.S. Currency. The home was subsequently deemed unsafe for habitation by city code.

In total, officers seized:

— 917 grams of Fentanyl (just over two pounds)

— 575 grams of Methamphetamine (just over one pound)

— 15 grams of Crack Cocaine

— Four Firearms

— $5,333 in U.S. Currency

The suspect was located in a vehicle in on Panorama Ave NW by Roanoke Police Officers and the Star City Drug and Violent Crime Task Force. Officers attempted to stop the suspect from fleeing; the suspect drove around officers, striking a Roanoke Police vehicle. The vehicle left the scene and officers began to canvass the area, eventually locating the vehicle. The subject then exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. After a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. No Roanoke Police Officers were injured during this arrest.

Marcello L. Steelman, 33 of Roanoke, was arrested and charged with three counts of Possession with Intent to Distribute Narcotics, one county of Hit and Run of an Occupied Vehicle, one count of Hit and Run to Property, one count of Felony Eluding, and one count of Felon in Possession of Ammunition. Steelman is currently being held at the Roanoke City Adult Detention Center with no bond. Additional charges are pending.

“Our interdiction officers and the Star City Drug and Violent Crime Task Force were monitoring this area due to its ongoing issues involving violence and narcotics. This outcome shows that we are working in the areas that we need to be, and I’m proud of the excellent work these officers did last night and early this morning,” said Roanoke Police Chief Scott Booth. “Investigations like these highlight the impact a focused approach has on these neighborhoods. It also embraces the message that First Lady of Virginia, Susan Youngkin, shared with us here in Roanoke earlier this week – It Only Takes One. One arrest like this can stop hundreds, if not thousands, of fentanyl overdoses, which can save lives. Thank you to all of the partners who work with us on this task force and these investigations to get us closer to a drug free city.”

The Star City Drug and Violent Crime Task Force is comprised of the officers from Virginia State Police, the Town of Vinton Police Department, the City of Salem Police Department, the Roanoke County Police Department, and the Roanoke Police Department.