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Former Miss Maryland faces drug charges

May 23, 1997

By MARLO BARNHART

Staff Writer

Former Miss Maryland Robin Valeria Harmon was ordered held on $80,000 bond Friday on charges she twice sold crack cocaine to a drug informant this spring from her Hagerstown apartment.

Harmon, now 40, appeared before Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II who, despite her objections, raised her bond from $50,000 to $80,000.

"I dispute these charges and that I am a threat to the community," Harmon said, looking gaunt and wearing a khaki prison jumpsuit.

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She was reacting to Assistant State's Attorney Joe Michael's statement to France that Harmon has a history of failing to appear for court and is dangerous because she sells drugs.

The new charges include cocaine distribution and possession on March 11 and April 24, according to court records.

In the March incident, Harmon told the confidential drug informant that the piece of crack she sold him was "the good stuff from Florida,'' court records said.

The April encounter described in court records involved the alleged sale of two pieces of crack to an informant and Harmon's request to have a little piece of crack for her help in arranging the deal.

"When I was in court before, I asked to be sent to the Massie unit because I knew I needed help," Harmon said. "But they sent me to outpatient to learn about drugs - I already know all there is to know about drugs."

In that matter, Harmon was given probation before judgment in Washington County District Court Nov. 19 for possession of marijuana.

Harmon, of 55 S. Potomac St., Apt. 401, pleaded guilty to the offense. France placed her on probation for one year and fined her $175, court records said.

Those charges were reinstated last July after Harmon failed to complete an earlier drug treatment program that would have led to the dismissal of the marijuana charges she faced.

On June 29, 1995, Washington County Narcotics Task Force agents raided an apartment at 121 E. Washington St. A search warrant was obtained after an agent bought a piece of crack cocaine at the apartment, charging documents said.

Officers found Harmon alone in the apartment. A small amount of marijuana and drug paraphernalia also was found, charging documents said.

Instead of going to trial, Harmon's case was placed on the inactive docket on the condition that she enter a treatment program.

She did not complete the treatment and the case was brought back up for trial, court records said. A trial date was set for July and she failed to appear, court documents said.

"I missed that one court date," Harmon said Friday. "I'd never been in the system before."

A Hagerstown native, Harmon won the Miss Washington County title and then was named Miss Maryland in 1981. She competed in the Miss America pageant that year but did not finish in the top 10.

The exposure the pageants gave her helped her to start a modeling and acting career in New York City.

But Friday, Harmon said she had no money for bond and asked to be released.

"I'd never been in trouble before one and a half years ago," Harmon said, referring to her recent drug charges. "I just want to get my life together again."

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for June 18 at 8:30 a.m. on the drug charges.

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