Drug arrest said to cut `major pipeline' to county

July 06, 2000|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,SUN STAFF

Carroll authorities say they have cut off a major source of crack cocaine into the county with the arrest of an Owings Mills man.

Lyle Quintin Watts, 35, of the 4600 block of Deer Park Road was arrested about 7 p.m. Monday at Finksburg Plaza after a weeklong investigation that began with a tip to Westminster city police. Authorities said Watts drove a rented car to the shopping plaza at Routes 140 and 91 to sell the drug.

Police seized about 4 ounces of suspected crack cocaine, with an approximate street value of $20,000, a significant quantity even for counties that typically see more drug traffic than Carroll, said Jerry F. Barnes, Carroll's state's attorney.

Police also seized $403.

"As a result of the seizure, we have successfully shut down a major pipeline of crack cocaine into the Westminster area," Barnes said.

Watts was charged with two counts of possession with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of cocaine and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was being held yesterday in lieu of $25,000 bail at the Carroll County Detention Center in Westminster.

The charges carry a potential sentence of 20 years in jail with parole, Barnes said. Because Watts has a prior conviction for possession of controlled substances, he could be treated as a subsequent offender, enabling the state's attorney's office to seek a double sentence, for a maximum of 40 years.

Participating in the investigation were the Carroll County Drug Task Force, Westminster city police and the State's Attorney's Office.

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