Roland Mazzone, whose 17-member, working-class drug ring distributed cocaine throughout Baltimore and Harford counties, wept and pleaded yesterday in Baltimore County Circuit Court and asked a judge to "Give me the chance, your honor, the chance I didn't give myself."
But, assistant state's attorney Frank Meyer said, "Today is not LTC the day to feel sorry for Roland Mazzone. Today is the day to punish him."
Judge John Grason Turnbull II agreed with Mr. Meyer and sentenced Mazzone, the former manager of the Valley View Inn in Parkville, to 20 years in prison, the first 10 years to be served without the possibility of parole.
The no-parole sentence is mandatory for people convicted of two felony drug charges.
"Obviously," said Judge Turnbull, the earlier drug conviction and sentence "acted as no deterrent to this man. He became a major dealer, a major supplier of cocaine to Baltimore County. Any sympathy I had for him is gone. . . . He is a danger to the community, and the community must be protected."
Judge Turnbull also denied Mazzone's request for bail while he appeals his convictions for conspiring to import, possess and sell cocaine.
During the spring and summer of 1991, Mazzone, 35, ran his drug ring out of the Valley View Inn and his home in Perry Hall.
Over a 2 1/2 -year period, police tape-recorded more than 10,000 phone conversations between Mazzone and others in the drug ring, including a county firefighter.
They broke up the ring in November 1991.
Yesterday, Russell J. White, Mazzone's attorney, told Judge Turnbull that Mazzone had applied to Second Genesis, a private, boot-camp style drug program in Texas, but was rejected. Second Genesis offered to reconsider the application in two years.
After the sentencing, Mr. White said Mazzone has an excellent chance of having his conviction overturned because police wrongfully tape-recorded privileged conversations between Mazzone and his wife, Betty Ann.
During yesterday's sentencing, Mazzone said he was sorry and blamed his actions not on "greed or contempt" but on his cocaine addiction.
"Drug addiction is a cancer that's spreading throughout our country," he told Judge Turnbull.
Mr. Meyer, the prosecutor, scoffed at Mazzone's statement.
"He liked the fast life. I would like the fast life, too, but you have to pay for it. He made choices that put him where he is today," said Mr. Meyer. "You never saw him sell his Jaguar to buy drugs."