Louisiana teen sentenced for drugs

March 13, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Sun Staff Writer

The 20-minute layover scheduled for a New York-to-Richmond Greyhound bus along Interstate 95 last fall led to a two-year visit to Maryland for an 18-year-old Louisiana man who was traveling home with 45.5 grams of psilocybin, a hallucinogenic drug better known as "mushrooms."

David Allen Newsome Jr. was sentenced to five years in prison with all but two years suspended in Circuit Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute the mushrooms.

Prosecutors said that the Bourgh, La., resident, who is a 10th-grade dropout, had gone to visit a friend in New York City. He was headed home when the bus he was riding pulled off I-95 at the Maryland House near Aberdeen on Sept. 14.

Two state police officers boarded the bus under a drug interdiction program as the passengers returned and asked them to claim their luggage.

At first, Newsome did not admit he owned a particular bag which contained the mushrooms as well as "bongs," pipes used to smoke the unlawful substance and other drugs.

He changed his story when troopers noted that "David Newsome" was printed on the travel bag's name tag.

He spent 99 days at the Detention Center until an aunt who lives in Virginia persuaded the court to release him to her custody.

Evidence showed Newsome lived with the family and obeyed all their rules, baby-sat for his aunt and uncle, worked with the uncle each day, attended school two nights a week and easily passed a preliminary test for his high school general equivalency diploma.

Judge William O. Carr was intending to give Newsome a break until he found out that the defendant recently used marijuana.

"You haven't learned anything," Judge Carr said before ordering that Newsome be taken immediately to the Division of Correction Diagnostic Center in Baltimore.

The judge also placed the defendant on two years of probation after he has completed his jail sentence.

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