Dope dealer's conviction nets hard time, lecture

March 10, 1998|By MARLO BARNHART

Dope dealer's conviction nets hard time, lecture

A Florida man with 10 aliases, 10 Social Security numbers and at least six different listed dates of birth was sentenced to 34 years in prison on drug charges Monday.

A Washington County Circuit Court jury in January convicted Darrell Thomas Brunson, believed to be 36 years old and of Fort Pierce, Fla., on three drug charges.

"Just pass sentence - don't give me a lecture," Brunson said to Judge Donald Beachley.

Beachley pointed out that the jury had made itself clear.

"People can make a lot of money in drugs, but penalties can also be substantial," Beachley said. "The people in Fort Pierce should have gotten that message."


Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Duane Gigeous said Brunson's 1980-1986 Florida criminal record - under a variety of names - included 30 prison and jail sentences for crimes ranging from drugs to battery to resisting arrest to aggravated assault.

"There are two pages of additional offenses from 1986 to now committed in Maryland," Gigeous said.

Court records showed that Narcotics Task Force officers investigating drug activity at Doub Meadow stopped Brunson on Aug. 20, 1996. Brunson was in a taxi cab near Bester Elementary School at the time.

Brunson was taken that day to the 1300 block of Jay Drive where a shed contained a stash of drugs in a cooler, court records said.

Agents said Brunson had a key that opened the shed, and inside authorities found 400 grams of marijuana, 28 grams of powder cocaine and more than 50 grams of crack cocaine, court records said.

"At trial, Brunson took the stand and said he had a continuous problem with crack and alcohol addictions," Gigeous said.

But Gigeous said the pre-sentence investigation prepared for Monday's sentencing contained a statement from Brunson denying he ever used crack or alcohol.

"He has shown utter contempt for this community and the police," Gigeous said.

Beachley sentenced Brunson to the 20-year maximum for possession of cocaine of more than 50 grams and gave him a 10-year concurrent sentence for distributing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school.

Beachley also sentenced Brunson to consecutive terms of four years for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and 10 years for manufacture of cocaine, using a minor. He sentenced him to a concurrent four-year term for distribution of cocaine, using a minor.

Brunson attempted to walk out of the courtroom as Beachley was preparing to describe his rights of appeal.

"I know my rights," Brunson said.

Beachley had him returned to the defense table where Brunson chuckled and then yawned during the reading of his appeal rights.

The Herald-Mail Articles