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Task force seizes 50 pounds of pot

January 11, 1999

The Washington County Narcotics Task Force seized more than 50 pounds of marijuana on Jan. 6 in connection with the arrests of two Hagerstown men alleged to have been dealing drugs in Hagerstown.

"This is one of the largest marijuana seizures in NTF history," said Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Duane Gigeous.

Chance David Barnhart, 22, who gave addresses of 925 Maryland Ave. and 729 Spruce St., and Gary Allen Brown Jr., of 1155 Corbett St., each were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Barnhart was released on $50,000 bond, court records said.

Brown also was released but the amount of his bond wasn't available in court records.

The seizure capped a three-week investigation by the task force. Agents received a tip last Wednesday that a large marijuana deal was about to take place in a parking lot in Funkstown, according to court records.

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At 4:05 p.m., officers saw a red Ford Escort leave the parking lot and head onto Poffenberger Road and then north on the Sharpsburg Pike, court records said.

When the car was stopped in the 1000 block of South Potomac Street, Brown was driving and Barnhart was the passenger, court records said.

A search of the trunk turned up a large cloth bag from which came an "overwhelming odor of marijuana," court records said.

The bag contained more than 50 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $75,000 to $100,000, said Sgt. Bob Leatherman, NTF director.

Police also executed a search warrant at 925 Maryland Ave. but agents said the results of the search wouldn't be released.

The results weren't in the court file.

- Kim Yakowski and Marlo Barnhart

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