Severn man sentenced to 15 years for running drive-through drug shop Police raided his property several times over 9 years

September 20, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel Circuit judge sentenced a Severn man to 15 years in prison yesterday for maintaining a common nuisance -- a drive-through cocaine market, a haven for fencing stolen goods and a setting for cockfights -- at his squalid compound off WB&A Road.

"This case just cries out for the strongest sentence," said Eugene M. Lerner as he ordered the prison term and a $50,000 fine for Oscar Mora, 44, who police said had been running the drug operation for nine years.

"This man was running a regular drug business, and he disturbed a whole neighborhood," Lerner said.

The sentence was "more than I asked for," said Prosecutor M. Virginia Miles, clearly delighted. "I asked for 10."

Mora was convicted July 30 on two counts of maintaining a common nuisance. Sentencing guidelines called for about six years. The maximum was 20 years on each count and the fine was the maximum for the charges.

Lloyd E. Clinton Jr., Mora's lawyer, described his client as a Cuban immigrant with a third-grade education, a wife whose health began deteriorating soon after their marriage and a teen-age daughter to support, but no assets.

He reiterated his contention from the July trial that the government dogged Mora for years and when it was unable to build a drug-dealing case, turned to charges that required less evidence.

Before the trial, Mora had one misdemeanor conviction, he noted.

Prosecutors countered that it often is tougher to prove common nuisance charges because to do so requires demonstrating a pattern of conduct.

Despite raid after raid over nine years, police never found large sums of cash, big bags of drugs, guns or valuables at Mora's compound in the 8200 block of WB&A Road in Severn. They never could identify his supplier and never intercepted a courier.

Police found a few Western Union receipts, small sums of cash, traces of drugs and a little paraphernalia.

Last year, animal control officers confiscated 42 roosters and hens from Mora's yard, found a cockfighting ring, and filed civil charges of nuisance violations for illegal fighting of gamecocks, but those charges were settled.

Pub Date: 9/20/97

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