Man facing 10 years in ‘crack’ case
— 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.
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.
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.