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Man sentenced to 40 years on drug, subsequent offender charges

July 06, 2010|By DON AINES
  • Antonio Prophet
Submitted photo,

A District Heights, Md., man convicted on drug and weapons charges stemming from a 2009 standoff with police near Fairgrounds Park was sentenced Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court as a subsequent offender, receiving a mandatory 40-year state prison sentence.

Roger L. Prophet, 36, of 6509 Elmhurst St., was convicted in April of 15 counts, including maintaining a common nuisance for the distribution of narcotics. It was that charge that resulted in the 40-year sentence imposed by Judge Daniel P. Dwyer.

"I do find reliable the argument ... that these prior offenses were committed by you and that you served time," Dwyer said of three previous drug-related convictions attributed to Prophet prior to his arrest on Oct. 15, 2009, following a standoff with police at a Medway Road house.

Those included convictions for possession with intent to distribute cocaine in 1994, possession with intent to distribute PCP and LSD in 2000, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine in 2005, Dwyer said.

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Robert Veil, the supervising state's attorney for the Washington County Narcotics Task Force, filed a subsequent offender notice in Prophet's case, which was required to seek the 40-year penalty.

Prophet's attorney, Bernard Semler, argued that the state's presentence investigation did not meet the burden of proving, by a preponderance of evidence, that Prophet met all the conditions as a subsequent offender, either by confirming he was the same Roger L. Prophet convicted in those earlier cases, or that he met the statutory requirements of the law in terms of the convictions and sentences handed down.

On Oct. 15, agents with the task force were conducting surveillance of a house on the 700 block of Medway Road when Prophet and another man left the house in a vehicle, according to the application for statement of charges. Prophet parked the vehicle on Park Place, but when police tried to take him into custody, he drove away and went back to the Medway Road house.

It took about 45 minutes of negotiations with the Washington County Special Response Team to get Prophet and the other man, James C. Midgette, 33, also of District Heights, to surrender.

In addition to the common nuisance charge, Prophet was convicted of possession of cocaine, possession of PCP, possession of marijuana, three drug paraphernalia charges, two illegal possession of firearms charges and several traffic violations, according to the verdict sheet.

Dwyer made the sentences on the other convictions concurrent, or imposed no sentence.

Midgette had his case placed on the inactive docket last week, although he did forfeit more than $13,000 police found in his pockets at the time of his arrest, court records said.

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