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Hagerstown tavern could face fine, loss of license after owner, patrons charged with selling crack

May 22, 2008|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The Waterin' Hole Tavern at 15 E. Baltimore St. in Hagerstown could face a $2,500 fine and the revocation of its liquor license after the owner and several patrons were charged with selling crack cocaine, officials said.

On Wednesday, Therisa Lamp, owner of The Waterin' Hole, sat before the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County as a result of the charges. Lamp did not speak during the hearing and declined to comment afterward.

Frank Toston, an agent with the Washington County Narcotics Task Force, said to the board of license commissioners, also known as the liquor board, that Lamp allegedly sold crack cocaine to an informant on Feb. 8.

During an ensuing investigation of the business that ran from February until early April, the task force made two more drug arrests at The Waterin' Hole on Feb. 18 and April 3, Toston said.

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Charged with selling crack during the Feb. 18 incident was Michael Murray, 60, of Hagerstown, who was a frequent customer at The Waterin' Hole, Toston said. Clifford Staley, 39, of Hagerstown, was charged with selling crack as he patronized the bar on April 3.

Toston said informants tried to purchase drugs at the bar on two other occasions between February and April, but were unsuccessful.

Gerald Phillips, 45, of Hagerstown, and Thomas Copin, 29, of Baltimore, also were arrested as part of the investigation, Toston said.

Lamp, Murray, Staley, Phillips and Copin were charged with possession and distribution of crack cocaine, Toston said. Their court dates have not been set.

Lamp, Murray and Copin were released from custody after posting bond, Toston said.

Phillips and Staley still were in the Washington County Detention Center as of Wednesday, a representative at the jail said.

Robert L. Everhart, liquor board chairman, said a decision about whether to revoke The Waterin' Hole's license would be made within 30 days.

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