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Documents: More than 100 pounds of marijuana, firearms, cash seized in Hagerstown bust

August 12, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • The Washington County Narcotics Task Force seized more than 100 pounds of marijuana and nearly $300,000 in cash at a Hagerstown home Thursday afternoon.
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HAGERSTOWN, Md. — Two men were being held on multimillion dollar bonds Friday after the Washington County Narcotics Task Force seized more than 100 pounds of marijuana and nearly $300,000 in cash Thursday afternoon at a home on Sherman Avenue in Hagerstown.

Sean Clark Andrews, 31, of 1116 Sherman Ave., Hagerstown, and John Richard Titus, 26, of 6404 Dam 4 Road, Williamsport, face numerous drug charges following the drug bust at the home of Andrews.

 The arrests came after an eight-week investigation, authorities said.

Andrews could be seen on a video link from the county detention center holding his head in his hands as Washington County Assistant State's Attorney Christopher McCormack asked District Judge Dana Moylan Wright to raise Andrews' bail from $500,000 to $2.5 million.

"Please drop the bail. It's ridiculous," Andrews said, but Wright granted the state's request.

McCormack asked that the bail for Titus be set at $2.5 million or higher, alleging he fled when task force agents moved in to make the arrest. Titus initially was being held without bond, but Wright set his bail at $5 million.

Titus is charged with 17 drug, weapons and theft counts, and Andrews is charged with 16 offenses, according to the charge summaries.

The two are scheduled for preliminary hearings on Sept. 1.

The task force was conducting its investigation outside Andrews' house when, shortly after 2 p.m., Andrews and Titus left the back of the house carrying bags and backpacks that they loaded into a Honda Accord, according to the statement of probable cause. Agents followed the car to a vacant lot off an alley at the rear of West Washington Street and Berner Avenue, the document said.

As agents approached the car, Titus got out and fled but eventually was tackled on Summer Street, according to allegations in the charging documents.

McCormack told Wright that approximately 25 pounds of marijuana were found in the car and $4,500 in cash was seized from Titus, charging documents allege.

Members of the task force, along with members of the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Hagerstown Police Department searched the Sherman Avenue house, collecting another 93 pounds of marijuana, firearms and additional cash, the task force alleged.

Sgt. Curt Wood of the sheriff's office said the total cash seized was $282,920. The charging documents said much of the cash was found in a safe, along with a loaded .25-caliber handgun.

McCormack told Wright the street value of the marijuana was $1,000 a pound, or $118,000.

Investigators also found a .40-caliber handgun, two stun guns and a .380-caliber handgun, which the owner  reported stolen to Hagerstown police on May 13, the charging documents said.

Dozens of prescription pills also were seized, including Oxycondone, morphine and Suboxone, the charging documents said.

Because Titus has a previous conviction for possession of narcotics in 2007, McCormack told Wright the state could file a subsequent offender notice. That could double the penalties Titus faces.

The most serious charges faced by Titus and Andrews are possession with intent to distribute narcotics, which carry a maximum of 20 years in prison. If the state files the subsequent offender notice, Wright informed Titus, the penalty on those charges could be up to 40 years.

McCormack asked that the bonds be high because of the amount of cash and drugs involved, and the possibility that Titus and Andrews are at risk to flee if released.

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