On March 12, 2020, detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police, with the assistance of the Special Operations Division – Tactical Unit, served a high-risk search warrant at a residence located in the 12200 block of St. James Road in Potomac, Maryland.
The search warrant was related to an investigation into a suspect identified as Duncan Socrates Lemp, age 21, of the 12200 block of St. James Road in Potomac, Maryland.
Detectives assigned to the Investigative Services Bureau received an anonymous tip at the beginning of the year, indicating that Lemp was in possession of firearms. Due to his criminal history as a juvenile, Lemp was prohibited from legally possessing or purchasing firearms in the State of Maryland until the age of 30. During their investigation, detectives learned of a number of firearms that Lemp was in possession of, to include various rifles and handguns that would ultimately be recovered from the residence. Detectives applied for and received a no-knock search warrant for the crimes of possession of an assault weapon and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.
The search warrant on March 12, 2020, was served in the early morning hours, consistent with Montgomery County Department of Police practice. The officers entering the residence announced themselves as police and that they were serving a search warrant. Officers gave commands for individuals inside the residence to show their hands and to get on the ground. Upon making contact with Lemp, officers identified themselves as the police and gave him multiple orders to show his hands and comply with the officer’s commands to get on the ground. Lemp refused to comply with the officer’s commands and proceeded towards the interior bedroom door where other officers were located. Upon entrance by officers into Lemp’s bedroom, Lemp was found to be in possession of a rifle and was located directly in front of the interior bedroom entrance door.
During the service of the search warrant a device was discovered affixed to the inside frame of the exterior door leading to Lemp’s bedroom. Montgomery County Fire Marshals responded in order to render the device safe. The device was designed as a “booby trap” intended to detonate a shotgun shell at the direction of anyone entering through the exterior door into Lemp’s bedroom. After officers entered the bedroom, the other occupant of the room warned the officers to be careful of the device rigged to the exterior door. Statements from other occupants of the residence indicated they were aware of the dangerous device on the door.
Further statements from the other occupant in Lemp’s bedroom indicated that he slept with the rifle each night. Contrary to some information reported to the media, the same occupant also indicated that Lemp was out of the bed and standing directly in front of the interior bedroom door at the time the officers made entry into the bedroom.
Items collected from the residence included three rifles and two handguns as well as other items of evidentiary value.
This remains an ongoing investigation by the Major Crimes Division.