Man pleads guilty to charges of dealing cocaine from office

Videotape of purchase called key part of case

October 16, 2001|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

A one-time bail bondsman who has been the subject of repeated police drug investigations for nearly a decade but had no drug convictions pleaded guilty yesterday to selling cocaine from his Broadneck peninsula office.

Dale Herbert Dickerson, 57, entered pleas in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to two counts of drug dealing and one count of maintaining a nuisance property. In exchange, prosecutors will drop 24 similar charges stemming from the investigation, which ran from December through March.

Police had videotaped and audiotaped an informant's crack cocaine purchases, which Assistant State's Attorney Eileen A. Reilly said she believed had a "huge impact" in obtaining the pleas.

She said yesterday's pleas before Judge Clayton Greene Jr. were the first time drug charges stuck against Dickerson. The investigation, culminating in a March raid on property on the 1400 block of Middletown Road, did not yield a large amount of cocaine, though police seized digital scales and drug paraphernalia.

Several other people were arrested in the investigation, including Dickerson's son, and all but one have pleaded guilty to drug charges. Sixteen drug buys on the property by an informant netted about 24 grams of cocaine.

"Why did he plead today? Facts are facts," said Robert H. Waldman, an attorney for Dickerson.

Each count is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Reilly said she intends to ask for a seven-year sentence at the Dec. 14 sentencing.

Dickerson runs hauling, firewood and mulching operations on the property, which was the site of an Environmental Protection Agency cleanup several years ago.

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