Man fac­ing 10 years in ‘crack’ case

Cecil Whig - - OBITUARIES & LOCAL - By CARL HAMIL­TON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— A man caught with al­most an ounce of “crack” co­caine and a loaded hand­gun in June, when po­lice ar­rested him in Per­ryville for an out­stand­ing war­rant, is fac­ing a 10-year sen­tence af­ter ac­cept­ing a bind­ing plea deal.

ELK­TON

The de­fen­dant, Tony A. Grif­fin, 31, of the 100 block of Innkeeper Court in Elk­ton, pleaded guilty to pos­ses­sion of crack co­caine with in­tent to dis­trib­ute and pos­ses­sion of a hand­gun by a con­victed felon on Tues­day.

Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court Judge Wil­liam W. Davis Jr. ac­cepted Grif­fin’s guilty pleas and then re­voked his $300,000 bond.

Grif­fin will re­ceive a manda­tory five-year sen­tence on his gun con­vic­tion and a con­sec­u­tive five-year sen­tence on the drug con­vic­tion, as part of a bind­ing plea agree­ment reached by Deputy State’s At­tor­ney Steven L. Tros­tle and Grif­fin’s de­fense at­tor­ney, Elk­ton-based lawyer Ed­ward A. Ri­chitelli. Sen­tenc­ing is set for Nov. 7.

Mem­bers of the Mary­land State Po­lice Gang En­force­ment Unit were con­duct­ing a covert pa­trol de­tail near the in­ter­sec­tion of Front Street and Elm Street about 2:15 p.m. June 3, when they spot­ted Grif­fin as he drove a gray Dodge Stra­tus into an empty park­ing lot and then backed up, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment of fact read aloud by Tros­tle.

MSP GEU mem­bers had been con­duct­ing sur­veil­lance there be­cause Per­ryville Po­lice De­part­ment of­fi­cers had re­ported that “this par­tic­u­lar in­ter­sec­tion is a high drug sales and drug use area,” court records show.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors rec­og­nized Grif­fin, the ve­hi­cle’s sole oc­cu­pant, through his pre­vi­ous con­tacts with po­lice, prose­cu­tors re­ported. They were aware that Grif­fin had an un­re­lated out­stand­ing war­rant charg­ing him with at­tempt­ing to elude a uni­formed po­lice of­fi­cer, which had been is­sued to the Ce­cil County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, ac­cord­ing to prose­cu­tors.

When the GEU mem­bers turned on their un­marked ve­hi­cles’ emer­gency lights and ap­proached, Grif­fin tried to elude them by driv­ing reck­lessly through the park­ing lot, be­fore bail­ing out and run­ning away, prose­cu­tors said.

Grif­fin ran about 150 yards, be­fore GEU of­fi­cers caught and hand­cuffed him, prose­cu­tors added.

Af­ter ar­rest­ing Grif­fin, the GEU mem­bers searched him and found two cell­phones and a clear plas­tic bag­gie con­tain­ing 27 grams of crack co­caine, prose­cu­tors said. While search­ing his ve­hi­cle, prose­cu­tors added, in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­fis­cated three other cell­phones and $910.

In ad­di­tion, ac­cord­ing to prose­cu­tors, GEU mem­bers seized a loaded .22-cal­iber semi-au­to­matic hand­gun with a laser sight, which they found on the ground ap­prox­i­mately 5 feet from the driver’s side door.

Be­cause of his crim­i­nal his­tory, which in­cludes “mul­ti­ple drug con­vic­tions,” Grif­fin is pro­hib­ited from pos­sess­ing firearms, prose­cu­tors re­ported.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF MSP

This photo shows “crack” co­caine, a loaded hand­gun, more than $900 and other ev­i­dence seized af­ter po­lice ar­rested an Elk­ton man in Per­ryville in June. That man is fac­ing 10 years in pri­son af­ter ac­cept­ing a plea deal Tues­day.

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