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Man caught handling marijuana is sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison

Aaron Smallwood Jr. faces additional prison time for violating his parole

August 20, 2010|By DON AINES

A Hagerstown man charged with possession of marijuana and crack cocaine after members of the Hagerstown Police Department's Street Crime Unit pulled up beside a parked vehicle and saw him handling a bag of marijuana was sentenced this week in Washington County Circuit Court to 3 1/2 years in prison.

Aaron Smallwood Jr., 29, of 209 N. Mulberry St., was convicted Tuesday by a jury and his sentencing was delayed until Wednesday. Deputy State's Attorney Joseph Michael told Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III that Smallwood has two previous drug distribution convictions in Maryland.

On the afternoon of Jan. 30, 2010, plainclothes members of the Street Crimes Unit were in an unmarked vehicle that stopped at the intersection of South Potomac and Lee streets, when one of the officers saw Smallwood in a parked car with a bag of marijuana, the statement of probable cause said.

The officers immediately got out of the vehicle and went to the car and one asked Smallwood to hand over the marijuana, the statement. Officers also found two pieces of crack cocaine in the map pocket of the car's driver's side door, according to trial testimony.

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Smallwood, who maintained his innocence Wednesday, told Boone he served 14 months on his last conviction and was paroled in 2009.

Michael remarked to the judge about the apparent lack of concern Smallwood had with handling drugs in public.

"The whole town's going downhill because of people like Mr.. Smallwood," Michael said. "This is a relatively minor crime that is the tip of the iceberg ... This town is becoming like the Titanic."

Smallwood faces additional prison time for violating his parole, Michael said.

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