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Girl admits to keeping drugs in home

July 29, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Disposition was delayed Wednesday for a 16-year-old Hagerstown girl who admitted in Washington County juvenile court to maintaining a common nuisance for keeping cocaine at her Reynolds Avenue home.

Circuit Judge John H. McDowell, sitting in juvenile court, ordered that the girl be placed in shelter care pending the completion of a predisposition investigation.

Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Michael said that a search of the girl's bedroom April 29 uncovered 1 ounce of cocaine, which was found in multiple bags throughout the room.

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Washington County Narcotics Task Force Agent Frank Toston said more than $4,000 in cash was recovered from the room. Michael added that the money was found in $100, $50 and $20 bills.

Michael said a 19-year-old man who was living in the girl's bedroom had been under investigation by the Washington County Narcotics Task Force. He said that on April 29, agents went inside her house on Reynolds Avenue. He said the girl's mother and two small children also lived in the house.

Michael said that in the girl's bedroom, belts were found with slits holding drugs; $3,300 in cash was found under the insoles of a girls pair of sneakers; money and crack cocaine were found in dresser drawers; marijuana was found in gym bags belonging to the man; and tablets of Ecstasy were found in the pockets of the man's trousers.

Toston said that "it appeared that everything was self-contained in this room for living really comfortably."

"It appeared that (the man) lived there pretty often," he said.

McDowell said he was puzzled over why a detention hearing was not held for the girl, who had admitted to "such a significant drug crime."

A Washington County Public Schools representative said that the South Hagerstown High School student was enrolled in mostly honors classes last school year and received a 95 percent as her highest grade and a 75 percent as her lowest grade.

A Washington County Health Department spokesman said the girl has an appointment at the department for a drug and alcohol evaluation in August.

The girl, when given a chance to speak, said, "I wanna say that I'm very sincere about staying away from (the man)."

Toston said earlier that the man's car was seen parked in front of her house Monday night.

"I feel very upset about having to put my family through everything that's happened," the girl said.

McDowell, addressing the girl, said, "Staying with you was a 19-year-old drug dealer who infested your room with drugs."

He placed the girl in shelter care pending the completion of a predisposition investigation.

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