Couple is guilty on drug charges Officers raiding their Taneytown home refused to let woman dress after shower

November 11, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

Carroll drug officers who raided a Taneytown home in May rousted a woman from the shower and refused to let her put on any clothes for more than an hour, the woman and her attorney said yesterday.

Diane Lynn Warner "was not allowed to immediately dress upon exiting the shower," her defense attorney, Leonard H. Shapiro, said yesterday in Carroll Circuit Court. "I'm sure the delay was for security reasons," he added in a sarcastic tone.

Mrs. Warner, 37, and her husband, Patrick Nelson Warner, 34, were in court yesterday to plead guilty to drug charges stemming from the raid on their former home in the 5400 block of Taneytown Pike, in which officers found a total of 3.7 grams of marijuana.

The couple now live in southern Pennsylvania.

Judge Francis M. Arnold convicted Mrs. Warner of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and gave her probation before judgment, which means the conviction will be wiped from her record after three years of unsupervised probation.

The judge convicted her husband on a single charge of manufacturing marijuana and gave him a suspended, one-year sentence in the county jail and three years of supervised probation.

While Mrs. Warner may be able to shake the drug conviction from her record, losing the memory of standing unclothed in front of a group of male officers is another matter, she said after the plea deal.

"I was there, with my robe in my hand, and they wouldn't let me put it on," Mrs. Warner said. "It was embarrassing and humiliating."

She said she heard "a group of men" come in the house while she was in the shower, and she thought it might be her husband and some of his friends.

Instead, it was the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force, with guns and a search warrant.

The task force officer who led the raid could not be reached yesterday for comment, but Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III didn't contradict Mr. Shapiro's comments in court yesterday.

From his office yesterday afternoon, Mr. Walker said Mrs. Warner "wasn't completely naked, she had a towel on."

"It might have been her perception that she wasn't dressed for that long, but the task force officers came in, she was in the shower, and they had to secure the place," he said.

The drug task force targeted the Warners' house after Carroll Sheriff John H. Brown passed on an anonymous tip that marijuana plants were growing along an outside wall, court documents said.

Task force officers saw a "marijuana plant approximately 1 foot tall growing along the garage . . . that was visible from the road and was positively identified using 10X binoculars," the search warrant read.

Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. signed the search warrant hours before the May 20 raid.

At the house, task force officers reported, they found two 10-inch marijuana plants, three pipes with marijuana residue and a bong. They also seized $300 found in a night stand in the Warners' bedroom. The cash, which Patrick Warner obtained after cashing a check from his employer, was forfeited to the task force as part of the plea deal.

Patrick Warner admitted yesterday to growing the marijuana, which he said he smoked from time to time. He no longer uses drugs, his attorney said.

"These are the most expensive two plants he's ever seen in his life," said Jay I. Block, Patrick Warner's defense attorney.

"These are poor people, eking out an existence, and now something as simple as growing a plant in his back yard brings them to court to face felony charges."

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