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Hagerstown man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine

September 06, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

Initially charged with robbing a Washington County Narcotics Task Force informant during a drug deal, a Hagerstown man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

Judge Daniel P. Dwyer sentenced Ryheim Maurice Pearson, 21, of 1062 Ross St. to six years in prison.

Charges of armed robbery, robbery, attempted robbery, theft and making false statements to police were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

"I do what I do to try and get drugs off the street. I really don't do it for money," the informant told Dwyer during the sentencing.

The incident, in which another man, Courtney Bully, pulled a BB gun pistol on the informant, "still bothers me a lot."

"What (Pearson) was doing was supporting his habit," Assistant Public Defender Loren Villa told Dwyer. "What Mr. Bully was doing was a whole different ballgame."

On April 7, the informant contacted Pearson to buy crack cocaine, according to the statement of probable cause. The informant later drove Pearson to the area of the North Spring Apartments, where Pearson left the vehicle and returned a few minutes later with Bully, the charging documents said.

Bully put the BB pistol to the informant's head and demanded the money the informant brought for the cocaine, the documents said.

Bully, 19, a resident of the North Spring Apartments, pleaded guilty in August to attempted robbery and is awaiting sentencing, according to court records.

While Pearson did not plead guilty to any of the robbery charges, Assistant State's Attorney Leon Debes told Dwyer that he has a 2008 robbery conviction.

Villa told Dwyer her client faces up to 5 1/2 years if found in violation of probation in that case.

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