Drug dealer sentenced to 25 years Judge cites law on '3-time losers'

February 25, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

A Carroll Circuit Court judge yesterday sentenced Noland Maurice Rheubottom to 25 years in prison without parole and fined him $25,000 for his third conviction on drug-dealing charges.

Judge Raymond E. Beck sentenced Rheubottom, 28, under the state's so-called "three-time loser" statute, which imposes higher minimum sentences.

The judge also sentenced Rheubottom to 10 years in prison on a charge of maintaining a common nuisance, but ordered the sentence to run concurrently to the 25-year term.

Rheubottom could be sentenced to another 20 years in prison if the court finds that he violated his probation on two earlier convictions.

Rheubottom told Judge Beck that he knew what he did was wrong.

"I would like to have a chance to raise my daughters," Rheubottom said. They are 3 months, 2 years and almost 3 years old, he said.

"Mr. Rheubottom, you represent the worst in our society today," the judge said. "I feel some sorrow for your mother, and I feel sorrow for your children. Your children are probably better off without you."

The defendant's mother and two of his daughters were in the courtroom.

His wife, Kristie Anne Rheubottom, 22, was arrested several days after he was. She was charged with cocaine possession and distribution. Her trial is scheduled today before Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr.

A jury last month found Rheubottom guilty of dealing cocaine out of his apartment at 10 W. Main St. He was arrested last June 19 in a raid on his apartment by Carroll County Narcotics Task Force officers.

Officers found a half-ounce of cocaine, a pager, a police scanner, a hand-held scale and almost $4,400 in cash in the apartment, they reported.

At the trial, Assistant Public Defender Edward T. Barry said the cocaine belonged to Rheubottom's wife.

Mr. Barry said yesterday he would appeal the verdict.

Rheubottom has been convicted on drug dealing charges three times in the past several years, Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III said.

The defendant pleaded guilty to possession and distribution of cocaine in Baltimore in February 1991, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, with all but two years suspended, Mr. Walker said.

Rheubottom pleaded guilty to the same charge in Carroll in June 1991 and was sentenced to seven years in prison, to be served consecutively to the Baltimore sentence, Mr. Walker said.

Before the sentencing yesterday, Mr. Barry argued that Rheubottom should be given a new trial.

The attorney contended the state had no evidence that the cocaine and drug paraphernalia found in Rheubottom's apartment belonged to him. There was evidence that it belonged to Rheubottom's wife, he said.

Also, during the jury selection process, a man eventually seated as an alternate juror denied knowing Rheubottom or any of his family. But the man had been to Rheubottom's home a number of times and had visited Rheubottom's mother's and sister's homes, he said.

Judge Beck denied the new trial request.

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