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Court brief

April 24, 2007|by ERIN JULIUS

Man pleads guilty to drug distribution



A Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to distribution of cocaine in exchange for the state dropping other charges against him.

Matthew Lamont Berry, 32, sold cocaine to a confidential police informant on Jan. 8, Assistant State's Attorney Brett Wilson said Monday.

Berry's conviction carried a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison because he is a repeat offender, Wilson said.

The state recommended a sentence of 10 years without the possibility of parole, Wilson said.

Washington County Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III ordered Berry to serve 15 years in prison, the first 10 without the possibility of parole.

"You got one heck of a deal," Wright told Berry, whom he called a major part of the drug dealing in the community.

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