After only 2 1/2 months as a defense attorney, former Carroll Assistant State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes is going to Frederick to fight against illegal drugs.
Barnes, an unsuccessful candidate for Carroll State's Attorney in 1990, was sworn in Monday as the new chief narcotics enforcement officer at the Frederick County State's Attorney's office.
The 42-year-old was an assistant state's attorney for Carroll County for 13 years. Last year, he waged a bitter battle against CarrollState's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman for the county's top law enforcement job.
In his new job, he replaces Scott Rolle, who left the Frederick State's Attorney's Office in March to enter private practice.
Barnes said he decided to apply for the $44,000-a-year job becauseit is what he likes to do the most.
"Basically, this has been my career," said Barnes. "I have done a great deal of work in this fieldin the past, and I have a lot of special training in this."
He said that even though he is happy to return to representing the state in court, his brief stint as a defense attorney was valuable.
"I enjoyed it. It gave me a different perspective on prosecution, which I think is good," said Barnes. "It gave me a point of view that I neverreally experienced until I became a defense attorney."
In his newjob, Barnes will work with the Frederick County Drug Task Force, theFrederick County Sheriff's Department and Frederick City Police on drug investigations and arrests.
He will advise them on drawing up charges and street arrest procedures, and will serve as the media spokesman on drug cases.
Frederick County will be challenging becauseof the large volume of drug cases, Barnes said.
"There is a different type of drug activity down there," he said. "The demographics ofthe city and its proximity to Washington, D.C., make the volume a lot heavier than Carroll. There are three full-time operations going onin Frederick, and there never seems to be a lack of cases."
Barnes said he hopes to get involved in some long-term investigations thattake a lot of time and energy.
"I enjoy the tough situations," said Barnes. "I'd like to try and solve these drug problems."
Barnessaid he will continue to live in Carroll County.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.