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Former coffee shop owner pleads guilty

March 10, 2009

The former owner of a Hagerstown coffee shop pleaded guilty Tuesday to maintaining a common nuisance.

Shoney Rhett Reasner, 34, of Hagerstown, was charged in June 2008 after the Washington County Narcotics Task Force searched the coffee shop, acting on information that marijuana was being stored there.

A former employee of the coffee shop tipped off police, Reasner's defense attorney said Tuesday.

Reasner, whose address is listed in court records as 13612 Greencastle Pike, was the owner of Java Bean Coffee Bar at 57 Eastern Blvd., which has since closed.

The state recommended Reasner serve time in jail, a sentence that would not exceed 18 months. The maximum he faces is five years in prison.

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He is scheduled for sentencing March 30.

Reasner said Tuesday morning that he took responsibility for his actions and for making bad choices. He asked the judge to permit home detention so he could continue to work. He said his family would suffer if he were in jail and unable to work.

The marijuana in the coffee shop was for his personal self-medicating use, Reasner said.

"I guess you would call marijuana my six pack of beer or something," he said.

Reasner remained free on bond Tuesday.

-- Erin Julius

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