Man caught with $450K in co­caine pleads guilty

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By CARL HAMILTON

ca­hamil­ton@ce­cil­whig.com

— A man caught with nearly 10 pounds of co­caine with an es­ti­mated street value of $450,000 dur­ing a traf­fic stop near North East is fac­ing up to 25 years in pri­son af­ter ac­cept­ing a plea deal.

The de­fen­dant, Andy P. Ti­neo, 31, of New York City, pleaded guilty to im­port­ing co­caine into Mary­land dur­ing a hear­ing on Thurs­day, as part of a plea deal in which prose­cu­tors dropped two re­lated charges against him.

Ce­cil County Cir­cuit Court Judge Wil­liam W. Davis Jr. ac­cepted Ti­neo’s guilty plea and or­dered a pre-sen­tenc­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

As of Fri­day, a sen­tenc­ing date for Ti­neo had not been sched­uled.

As­sis­tant State’s At­tor­ney Perry J. Sea­man and Ti­neo’s de­fense lawyer, Elis­a­beth Maxwell Hell­wig, ne­go­ti­ated the plea agree­ment.

Ti­neo was driv­ing a Ford Taurus in the south­bound lane of In­ter­state 95 near

ELKTON

North Eas t about 7:30 p.m. Aug. 4 when Mary­land State Po­lice Sr. Trooper Ryan McNeely stopped the ve­hi­cle for speed­ing and fol­low­ing too closely, po­lice re­ported.

McNeely dis­patched a K9 unit af­ter notic­ing “nu­mer­ous in­di­ca­tors of crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity” while con­duct­ing the traf­fic stop, po­lice said. A spe­cially trained scent dog alerted to the pres­ence of il­le­gal drugs while scan­ning the out­side of the car, and that led to a search by in­ves­ti­ga­tors, po­lice added.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors found an “af­ter­mar­ket elec­tron­i­cal­ly­con­trolled false com­part­ment,” which was in the car’s cen­ter con­sole, ac­cord­ing to po­lice. Searchers found four “large rect­an­gu­lar pack­ages,” com­monly called “bricks” in the drug world, and they con­tained a to­tal of 4,490 grams of co­caine, which trans­lates to 9.89 pounds, po­lice re­ported.

McNeely also ar­rested and charged Ti­neo’s frontseat pas­sen­ger, Rigob­erto Ramos Jr., 30, of Bronx, N.Y., with im­port­ing co­caine into Mary­land, pos­ses­sion of a large amount of co­caine and other re­lated of­fenses.

Ramos is sched­uled for a Feb. 21 jury trial, court records show.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF MSP

This po­lice photo shows nearly 10 pounds of co­caine in­ves­ti­ga­tors con­fis­cated dur­ing a traf­fic stop near North East on Aug. 4. The man charged is now fac­ing up to 25 years in pri­son af­ter ac­cept­ing a plea deal Thurs­day.

TI­NEO

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