Drug dealer sentenced to 8 years after plea Eldersburg man was major supplier

October 08, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Gordon L. Cartnail stood up and faced the judge, and said he was sorry they had to keep meeting like this.

"I'm really sorry for breaking the law in this county, your honor," the 20-year-old convicted drug dealer told Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold yesterday. "I hope when we meet again, I'm not here because of drugs."

Cartnail and Judge Arnold won't be meeting each other again for quite a while. The judge sent Cartnail to state prison for eight years.

As expected, Judge Arnold sentenced the Eldersburg man to five years for manufacturing cocaine, three years for a handgun offense and 15 years for possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

The manufacturing and handgun sentences are consecutive. The intent to distribute sentence is to run concurrently with the other two. Judge Arnold suspended all but eight years of the sentences.

The sentences were worked out in June in exchange for guilty pleas on the three charges. Cartnail faced more than a dozen criminal charges -- including attempted murder tied to a December drive-by shooting in Westminster -- in the three cases against him. Had he been convicted of all of the charges, he could have been sentenced to life in prison.

Cartnail is one of the biggest drug dealers convicted by the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force. Charging documents say that Cartnail was a major supplier of cocaine in the county and that he purchased cocaine "from a Jamaican male in Baltimore."

The guilty pleas were a surprise to members of the task force, especially since Cartnail's lawyer, Stephen P. Bourexis, filed a $10.5 million lawsuit against the task force. The suit, which was dismissed by Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. last month, claimed that the task force refused to work with Cartnail or any of Mr. Bourexis' other clients.

Cartnail was arrested and charged in the drive-by shooting last December. He was one of four adults and two minors arrested in the incident, court records show.

Police also searched a Pennsylvania Avenue apartment said to be frequented by Cartnail. They seized crack cocaine and equipment to process it there.

While Cartnail was out on bail in that case, the task force raided his mother's Eldersburg home and seized cash, crack cocaine, televisions, stereo equipment, phone logs and drug paraphernalia. Cartnail forfeited all of the items to the task force in his plea bargain.

Cartnail and his mother were arrested after the search and charged with several drug distribution counts. The charges against his mother were later placed on the inactive docket.

At yesterday's sentencing, Judge Arnold called the case "a tragedy."

"But if you have the correct attitude when you get to the Department of Corrections," he told Cartnail, "you'll be eligible for parole. You're a young person, and you can overcome this."

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