Drug dealer's 38-year sentence grows by 7

August 20, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

A Westminster man serving 38 years in state prison for his third cocaine distribution conviction in as many years was given seven more years behind bars yesterday for violating his 1991 probation.

Carroll Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold imposed the previously suspended prison sentence he had given Noland Maurice Rheubottom, 28, after Rheubottom pleaded guilty to cocaine distribution in June 1991.

Rheubottom's 1991 suspended sentence included five years of supervised probation and a court order to avoid breaking the law.

A year later, Rheubottom was in jail, charged for the third time with dealing cocaine out of his Main Street apartment.

Before finding Rheubottom guilty of violating his probation, Judge Arnold mused that perhaps the drug dealer would have been better off behind bars in June 1991.

"I have wondered ever since you were arrested again that if I had really given you that seven years back then, what a better life you would have had," the judge said. "But I don't give sentences to scare people. I give them as promises."

Rheubottom's road to a minimum 25 years in state prison began in 1990, when he was convicted of dealing cocaine in Baltimore County. He was sentenced to two years in state prison for that conviction, and court records show that he served about a year of the sentence.

Shortly after he was released in the Baltimore County case, he was arrested in Carroll County and convicted again of dealing cocaine. That case resulted in the suspended sentence.

The third case, in which Carroll County Narcotics Task Force officers found Rheubottom in his Main Street apartment with cocaine, led this year to his third conviction and a minimum, mandatory sentence of 25 years without parole.

The latest conviction led to a violation of probation in his 1990 case, in which 13 years were added to the 25-year sentence.

Yesterday's addition to his sentence moves Rheubottom's earliest chance at parole to the year 2025, court officials said.

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