Drug dealer receives mandatory sentence

Man first in county to get 25 years without possibility of parole

November 04, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Yesterday, a Baltimore man, who has twice been convicted of felony drug crimes, became the first drug offender to receive a 25-year mandatory sentence in Carroll County.

Marvin Powell, 35, of the 2400 block of W. Cold Spring Lane in Pimlico must serve the entire sentence without possibility of parole under mandatory-sentencing laws, said Carroll State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes.

Powell pleaded guilty yesterday to selling cocaine to an undercover state trooper near a Westminster convenience store in May.

"Twenty-five years without parole is equivalent to a 100-year sentence," said Barnes, noting someone serving 100 years would be eligible for parole after "doing one-fourth of the time."

"This law is one of the best deterrents prosecutors have in drug enforcement," he said.

Powell said little as his rights were explained by his lawyer, James Rhodes.

Powell showed no reaction as Barnes told Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. that the defendant sold 20 packages of cocaine to an undercover state trooper for $300. Each package contained one rock of cocaine and easily could have been resold for $20 each on the street, Barnes said.

Powell was eligible for the mandatory sentence because he was convicted in 1993 in Baltimore for possession with the intent to distribute heroin, Barnes said. Powell was sentenced to 18 months in jail on that conviction, the prosecutor noted.

In March 1995, Powell was sentenced to four years in prison in a second Baltimore conviction on another heroin charge, Barnes told the judge, presenting copies of Division of Correction records to prove a mandatory sentence was required. He provided the court no alternative.

Barnes said he has successfully prosecuted four drug offenders who received 20-year terms without parole.

"I hope the word gets out to all those with prior drug convictions, that we will seek a mandatory sentence every time," he said.

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