City man, 19, whose arrest led to raid of PCP lab, pleads guilty to drug charge

March 04, 2003|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A college student pleaded guilty yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to possession with intent to distribute the drug PCP, a case that led authorities to what was called the largest PCP lab on the East Coast.

Robert Brown, a 19-year-old student at Baltimore City Community College, could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

He was arrested Nov. 20, when police caught him with 4 ounces of liquid phencyclidine, or PCP, in a vodka bottle, according to court documents. The drug had a street value of about $8,000.

Brown's arrest led police to a Northwest Baltimore house in the 3700 block of Liberty Heights Ave., where they found 42 five-gallon containers of chemicals, including 30 gallons of PCP. The rest of the chemicals were in various stages of production.

All the material seized, when turned into PCP, could have brought between $50 million and $100 million, according to officials at the Drug Enforcement Administration. At the time, then-Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris called the house "one of the biggest PCP labs of its kind on the East Coast."

Brown, of the 600 block of N. Rosedale St., is the only person who has been charged in connection with the suspected lab, though federal authorities are still investigating the case.

Police have said that federal drug conspiracy charges will likely be brought against three others.

Brown's lawyer, Jack Rubin, said Brown was not involved in the manufacturing of PCP or other drugs. "The mother lode was never under his control or dominion," Rubin said. "This kid's exposure is very limited."

Brown, a Southwestern High School graduate, has no previous criminal record. He is to be sentenced by Judge Wanda K. Heard on Aug. 25.

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