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Man who crashed SUV into off-duty trooper's car indicted

June 06, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A man who crashed his sport utility vehicle into an off-duty state trooper's car was indicted on federal drug distribution charges this week, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

Aaron Curtis Lewis, 19, was named in a 12-count superseding indictment, the attorney's office said.

One count of the indictment charges Lewis with conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of crack cocaine from January 1999 to June 2003.

The remaining counts charge Lewis with distribution of crack cocaine in Martinsburg.

If convicted, Lewis would face up to life in prison and millions of dollars in fines, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

In March, a jury convicted Lewis of fleeing from an officer creating injury, reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident involving injuries and failure to render aid.

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He was scheduled to be sentenced in Berkeley County Circuit Court last month when he was taken into federal custody. Sentencing was rescheduled for June 9.

The victim of the car wreck was a former sergeant with the West Virginia State Police, Scott E. Paugh, who was heading home at the time of the head-on crash. Paugh suffered permanent injuries and retired from the state police.

An officer with the Martinsburg Police Department had been chasing Lewis, but the officer stopped the chase at the city limits. The wreck occurred just afterward, at around 11 p.m. on May 29, 2002, on Golf Course Road. After the wreck, Lewis fled on foot without attempting to help Paugh, according to court records.

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