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Couple sentenced on drug charges

November 30, 1999|By PEPPER BALLARD

A man and woman each entered pleas in Washington County Circuit Court Tuesday to charges stemming from the November 2005 discovery of 11 grams of cocaine, about $3,000 in cash and guns inside a Hagerstown apartment where the then-couple stayed and a 3- to 5-year-old boy was found visiting.

Katosia Nicole Smith, 25, entered Alford pleas to conspiracy possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a loaded firearm within access of a minor child. In a separate hearing, Sirage Ekwan Delaney, 25, pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, possession of an unregistered short barrel shotgun and possession of a loaded firearm within access of a minor child in connection with the Nov. 30 search of the 658 N. Prospect St. apartment in which they were living.

Under an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to gain a conviction.

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Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. sentenced Smith to four years in prison on her drug charge, and originally sentenced her to a concurrent three years for the firearm within access of a minor child charge, but struck that sentence after Assistant Public Defender Eric Reed, Delaney's attorney, noted the charge only carried a $1,000 fine. Smith was brought in after Delaney's sentencing, and Long struck her three-year sentence and imposed the fine, which he subsequently suspended.

Delaney was sentenced to nine years in prison on the possession with intent to distribute charge, and a concurrent two-year prison sentence for the unregistered shotgun charge. The $1,000 fine for the firearm within access of a minor child charge also was imposed, but suspended.

Smith, who was pregnant at the time of the search, and Delaney were found Nov. 30 at Apartment 3 of 658 N. Prospect St. by Washington County Narcotics Task Force agents, who arrived with a search-and-seizure warrant there, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said.

Inside a safe, agents found 11 grams of cocaine, $3,000 in cash and a plastic scale, and in the apartment found several cell phones, a .380-caliber handgun and a 13 1/8-inch shotgun, Wilson said.

Smith gave birth to her first child and the couple's son while incarcerated at the Washington County Detention Center, said her attorney, Dino Flores. The boy now is in the custody of the Department of Social Services, he said.

Delaney said, addressing Long, "I'm sorry my son will be brought up by other people."

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