Man gets 50 years in drug case

Dealer's sentence one of lengthiest in county history

May 03, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County man was sentenced yesterday to 50 years in prison on cocaine charges, one of the lengthiest terms ever given on drug-related charges in Carroll County, State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes said.

Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. imposed five consecutive 10-year terms on Darrell C. Long, 20, of Sturgis Court in Milford Mill, who was arrested last summer in an undercover police sting in Westminster.

Long pleaded guilty to four counts of selling crack cocaine to undercover troopers, one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and an unrelated assault on a jail officer.

By accepting the plea bargain, Long avoided a potential 40-year sentence without parole on a more severe drug kingpin charge, said Barnes, the county's chief prosecutor.

Long sold crack cocaine to members of the Carroll County Drug Task Force between June 5 and July 30, Barnes said in the statement of facts. Long was arrested on the possession charge Aug. 5 during a police raid at a Sullivan Avenue apartment.

The task force effort, dubbed "Operation Sullivan," was aimed at closing down the open-air drug market in the area of Sullivan Avenue and came at the request of local police and city officials.

During yesterday's hourlong plea hearing, Long politely but tersely answered most of the judge's questions with "Yes, sir," or "No, sir."

Incarcerated since Aug. 5, Long said he completed his General Educational Development diploma in January. He said he had completed 10th grade at Surrattsville High School in Prince George's County.

Because Long had sold more than 50 grams of crack cocaine -- 68.4 grams for $1,900 -- to an undercover trooper on June 15, half of the 10-year sentence imposed for that incident must be served without the possibility of parole, Barnes said.

While Long may ask that his sentences be modified in the future, he will serve about 15 years before becoming eligible for a parole hearing, Barnes said.

"The plea agreement really was a bargain [for both sides]," said Barnes. "About 80 percent of the convictions on drug kingpin charges end up being overturned on appeal because of the complexity of the issues.

"Now, it's over and done with. We don't have to be concerned about an appeal, and we were able to secure the severest sentence, certainly in my memory."

While Long could have received 20 years on each of the five cocaine charges, judges generally do not stack them and impose 100-year sentences, Barnes said.

Before allowing the plea, Burns had told Long during a lengthy explanation of the defendant's rights that he would bind himself to a maximum of 50 years on all counts.

As part of the plea bargain, Burns also secured a promise from a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge that Long's guilty plea in Carroll County would not lead to additional prison time for violating probation there.

Barnes agreed to drop charges against Long in an unrelated burglary and in an unrelated assault of an inmate at the Carroll County Detention Center.

"In honesty, the alleged burglary involved breaking into a residence where Long was living at the time, and it should never have been charged," Barnes said. "And the Carroll County inmate he allegedly assaulted is in Connecticut on armed robbery charges, and we can't get him back as a witness anytime soon."

As for Long's assault of a correctional officer at the Carroll County jail, Burns imposed a five-year sentence and made it concurrent with the first of the five 10-year terms.

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