Probation breach nets 7 years

July 19, 2008

A man whose Baltimore trial on drug charges was postponed 14 times before he was found not guilty has been sentenced to seven years in prison for violating the terms of his probation from a 2002 case, according to the city state's attorney's office.

Herbert Carter, 34, of the 300 block of S. Catherine St., was found guilty of the probation violation this week, prosecutors said. Circuit Judge John C. Themelis ordered the man to serve part of a nine-year, nine-month sentence that had been suspended in 2002 when he was convicted of selling drugs.

The case that had to be dismissed this week stems from Carter's arrest by Baltimore police June 23, 2004, while still on probation in the 2002 case. He was charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine.

That case was postponed 14 times before it finally went to trial in December, and the suspect was found not guilty by a jury, according to prosecutors. Carter had been arrested twice more on drug charges while awaiting that trial, but prosecutors said they had to dismiss those cases because the arresting officers had since left the department and could not be found to testify.

Authorities have been going after suspects on probation violations when other cases do not or cannot go forward.

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