WESTMINSTER -- The Economy Pawn and Bargain Shop at one time offered good deals on more than just second-hand merchandise, police say.
According to the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force, the shop at 20 W. Main St. was a good place to buy marijuana, and its owners were the ones selling the pot.
Jeffrey and Susan Blizzard, who own the pawn shop and an adjacent motorcycle repair shop, were charged in January with three counts of drug possession and distribution after a search of the shop, garage and the couple's home turned up more than a pound of marijuana, guns, cash and drug paraphernalia.
Court records show that the task force was led to the Blizzards and their businesses during an undercover investigation sparked an informant's tip.
The investigation began when a drug task force officer stopped a car on an traffic violation near East Middle School on the day of the raid.
Police said a drug-sniffing dog reacted when it approached the stopped car and some marijuana seeds were found in the vehicle.
The driver was arrested, taken to city police headquarters and searched. Police turned up a quarter-ounce of marijuana in the man's pockets.
The raids on the Blizzards' home and businesses were later that day. In all, the raids turned up 11 ounces of marijuana, water pipes, rolling papers, metric scales, guns and $3,000 cash.
On Wednesday, the couple entered into plea agreements, and Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. spared them from serving any time behind bars.
In exchange for having drug-distribution charges dropped, the Blizzards pleaded not guilty to drug-possession charges but agreed to accept the task force's version of the facts as evidence. And, as expected, Judge Burns found each of them guilty of one possession charge.
The couple agreed to forfeit the cash and guns to the task force as part of the plea bargain.
Judge Burns sentenced Susan Blizzard, 27, to three years of unsupervised probation and ordered her to perform 50 hours of community service. If she successfully completes probation, the conviction will be purged from her criminal record.
Jeffrey Blizzard, 28, who has previous drug charges on his record, was given a suspended one-year sentence in the Carroll County Detention Center. He was placed on three years of supervised probation.