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Hagerstown man sentenced to 30 days for manufacturing marijuana

July 12, 2011

A Washington County Circuit Court judge sentenced a Hagerstown man to 30 days in jail for manufacturing marijuana after a fire in his home led to his arrest.

Christopher Alan Jones, 20, of 13524-B Pennsylvania Ave. pleaded guilty to the felony charge in exchange for the dismissal of charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia, Assistant State's Attorney Vicki Pauler told Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr.

On Sept. 29, 2010, there was a fire at Jones' former residence at 13733 Apt. A, Pennsylvania Ave. One of the firefighters, who also happened to be a Hagerstown police officer, saw a marijuana plant while inspecting the damage, according to the statement of facts Pauler read to the court.

After the discovery, the Washington County Sheriff's Office was called in to investigate, she said.

Jones was growing marijuana for his personal use rather than buying it on the streets of Hagerstown, Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa told Long.

He had also decided to quit smoking marijuana prior to the fire, but did not know how to get rid of the plant, she said.

"You could have just chopped it up ... put it down the toilet," Long said.

Long gave Jones two years in state prison, suspending all but 30 days, which Jones will serve in the Washington County Detention Center.

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