Pro-marijuana Carroll activist guilty of 3 counts

March 27, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

A Carroll Circuit jury convicted Pamela Snowhite Davis yesterday on three of the four drug charges against her.

But to the Westminster pro-marijuana activist, the jury's failure to convict her of drug distribution counts was a victory.

"I'm not a drug dealer. What can I say?" she remarked after the nine-man, three-woman jury returned its verdicts yesterday afternoon. "I'm glad the citizens of Carroll County agree with that."

After deliberating a total of eight hours over two days, the jury convicted Ms. Davis, 48, of maintaining a common nuisance, possessing marijuana and possessing drug paraphernalia. She faces a possible penalty of six years in jail and fines of $16,500 when she is sentenced April 28 by Carroll Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr.

Barton F. Walker III, the assistant state's attorney who prosecuted the case, didn't say what sentence he would seek.

The two-day trial concludes the so-called "UPS Case" that has attracted attention in Carroll County for nearly a year.

Acting on tip from a sheriff's deputy in Orange County, Calif., the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force intercepted a United Parcel Service package addressed to Terrapin Station, Ms. Davis' 80-acre farm three miles from the Pennsylvania line. The package contained 1.5 ounces of marijuana.

A Carroll sheriff's deputy, dressed as a UPS employee, delivered the package May 7. After a woman signed for the delivery, the task force raided the 21-room farmhouse.

Officers never recovered more than a leaf or two from the package -- Ms. Davis' son, David Kif Davis, had run to the roof and eaten most of its contents. He pleaded guilty to a marijuana possession count earlier this year. What officers did seize was less than an ounce of marijuana from Ms. Davis' bedroom night stand; a bong; an indoor plant grow-light; and pro-marijuana magazines, pamphlets and posters.

Most of the evidence, testimony revealed, belonged to Ms. Davis' son. All of it was admitted into evidence by Judge Beck.

None of the jurors would comment to reporters after the verdict. Judge Beck, in an unusual move, signed an order banning attorneys, witnesses and the defendant from contacting jurors for 30 days from yesterday.

The trial began Wednesday and played out with almost nonstop objections from defense attorney Stephen P. Bourexis.

Ever since the raid, Ms. Davis has maintained that the task force's use of the UPS package to obtain a search warrant was illegal and unconstitutional.

Mr. Walker called yesterday's verdict a vindication of the drug task force, which Ms. Davis said she would "put on trial."

"She vowed to put us on trial, and I think we did quite well," Mr. Walker said after the verdict. "I didn't come here with any vendetta against her."

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