Changes to the minimum sentencing laws for drug offenses might occur soon in Maryland. There is a bill before the Maryland House that seeks to allow judges to depart from the mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenders. This could have a considerable impact on the criminal justice system in the state.
A pair of individuals face drug charges for the manufacture of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and additional related crimes. The male, age 32, and female, age 30, were held on a $100,000 bond and $50,000 bond, respectively. They could face up to 14 years in prison if convicted. The Washington County Narcotics Task Force received tips from independent individuals related to the manufacture of methamphetamine in the residence. This confirmed other information that the male suspect had bought ingredients used to make the drug. They searched the home of the suspects and located lye, lithium, glass and plastic containers, ammonium nitrate, coffee filters, drug store receipts, lighter fluid and additional items related to the methamphetamine trade. All of these materials are commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Recently, a 23-year-old temporary custodian at a Charles County school was charged with dealing drugs to students on campus after hours. A school resource officer informed police that the suspect could be involved in illegal activity. Later that evening, police dogs signaled the presence of drugs in the suspect's car that was parked on campus. Law enforcement personnel found marijuana worth about $500, a scale and money in the vehicle during a search. The defendant faces three drug charges.
A roundup for drug offenses has culminated in the arrests of dozens of suspects by the Wicomico County Narcotics Task Force. The investigation into the drug trafficking ring began in January 2010. Law enforcement officials found several distribution sources of various drugs throughout the county. During the three-year period, they confiscated heroin, cocaine, marijuana and pills valued at more than $1 million in addition to weapons and more than $600,000 in cash. The suspects face a variety of state and federal drug-related charges with penalties between five- and 40-year prison sentences. Six of the 71 suspects have been labeled as drug kingpins and face mandatory minimum prison sentences of 20 years. The kingpins are individuals who oversee the drug distribution in some capacity. When police attempted to take one of the kingpins into custody, he rammed his vehicle into an occupied law-enforcement vehicle. He faces attempted first-degree murder charges in addition to the drug charges.