Three-time Harford drug felon to serve 25 years


Gene Robert Bowser Jr., 37, of Aberdeen, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 years in prison without the benefit of parole, for possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone, an opiate narcotic, by Harford County Circuit Court Judge M. Elizabeth Bowen for charges stemming from an arrest Jan. 6, 2012, at the Travel Lodge Motel in Aberdeen, the Harford County State's Attorney's Office said.

Bowser was convicted by a jury on Dec. 18, 2012. This sentence closely follows a sentence of 13 years handed down May 7 by Circuit Court Judge Stephen M. Waldron after Bowser was convicted Feb. 13, of misdemeanor possession of Hydrocodone and morphine, stemming from an earlier arrest in Aberdeen on Aug. 31, 2011, State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly said in a news release.

The latest felony conviction made Bowser a three-time felony narcotics offender eligible for a mandatory minimum sentence of 25 years without a chance of parole. Consequently, Bowen ordered Bowser to serve the mandatory 25 years without parole, consecutive to the earlier 13 year sentence imposed by Waldron. The defendant will serve a combined total of 38 years, 25 of which will be without parole, Cassilly noted.

On Aug. 31, 2011, Bowser was a passenger in a car that was pulled over by Aberdeen Police for running through a stop sign at Plater and Law streets. Acting on previous information that Bowser may be engaged in narcotics violations, police obtained consent to search his person and discovered hydrocodone and morphine in his pockets, the state's attorney's news release continued.

Five months later, on Jan. 6, 2012, while free on bail and awaiting trial for the August 2011 offense, Bowser was again arrested while in possession of hydrocodone at the Travel Lodge Motel on West Bel Air Avenue, after Aberdeen Police watched him make an alleged sale of narcotics at a gas station adjoining the motel. Minutes after the alleged drug deal, Bowser was arrested by Aberdeen Police in a Travel Lodge room registered to him. Several hydrocodone pills were found in Bowser's pocket during the search.

In announcing her sentencing decision, Bowen cited Bowser's lengthy criminal history, including his two prior felony drug convictions in 1996 and 2007, and said his continued criminal conduct weighed heavily in her decision to impose 25 years without parole, Cassilly said.

Bowser will be transferred to the Maryland Division of Correction from the Harford County Detention Center where he has been held since his January 2012 arrest.

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