Westminster man, 18, sentenced to 10 years for cocaine distribution

Resto had been placed on probation for firing a gun in a 1998 incident

May 19, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

An 18-year-old Carroll County man was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to selling cocaine to undercover state troopers during a crackdown on open-air drug sales in Westminster last year.

Mario Enrique Resto of the first block of Wimert Ave. in Westminster begged Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. for a shorter sentence and a recommendation to the state's adult boot camp.

But Beck reminded Resto of a shooting incident in 1998, when the defendant was given a four-year suspended sentence and placed on three years of probation for recklessly pulling the trigger of a .22-caliber pistol while aiming it at another youth's face. The pistol misfired twice before the other youth was struck in the lip and had a tooth shattered."I told you then what would happen if you violated my probation," Beck said. "I don't get particular pleasure out of sending a young man to prison, but in your case, you've earned it."

The judge imposed concurrent 20-year sentences for each of two counts of cocaine distribution, before suspending 10 years on each term. He also imposed concurrent four- and three-year sentences for Resto's probation violations on the 1998 reckless endangerment and handgun charges.

Before Resto was led from the courtroom to be taken to a state prison facility in Baltimore, he was permitted a farewell hug from his girlfriend, mother and younger brother.

According to prosecutor Brian DeLeonardo, Resto had sold an ounce of cocaine April 27, 1999, to a trooper from the Carroll County Drug Task Force during an undercover anti-drug effort known as Operation Sullivan. A month later, he sold 2 ounces of cocaine to the same trooper in the first block of Sullivan Ave.

Resto's sentence was made effective from Aug. 5, the day he was arrested as the task force, assisted by Westminster police and sheriff's deputies, began a series of raids to round up more than 60 suspects linked to open-air drug trafficking during Operation Sullivan.

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