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Man pleads guilty to gun charge

November 09, 2011|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The third of three men charged with carrying loaded firearms discovered during a traffic stop last year has pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to carrying or transporting a handgun in a vehicle.

Carl Anthony Blackwood, 24, of 16 W. Wilson Blvd., Hagerstown, entered the guilty plea Monday before Judge John H. McDowell. Sentencing was delayed to allow time for a presentence investigation to be completed.

A more serious charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun was dismissed as part of the plea agreement, along with two other firearm charges, according to court records.

A conviction for being a felon in possession of a handgun would have carried a mandatory minimum sentence of five years, said Blackwood’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Charles Bailey.

Blackwood faces a maximum sentence of three years for carrying a handgun in a vehicle, Bailey said.

Blackwood was a passenger in a Cadillac that was pulled over in front of The Maryland Theatre on the evening of Dec. 18, 2010, for an expired license plate, according to the charging documents. A police dog alerted to the possible presence of drugs, and police asked the four men in the vehicle to get out, the document said.

One of the men, Trevin T. Harris, 21, of Hagerstown, ran from police and was caught after a brief chase, the documents said. Harris, who was 20 at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty in May to possession of a handgun by a minor and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

In October, Andre Rafael Stanton, 25, of Frederick, Md., was given a three-year state prison sentence with two years suspended after pleading guilty to carrying a handgun without a permit.

A fourth man in the car, the driver, was not armed, Assistant State’s Attorney Gina Cirincion said at the time of Stanton’s plea.

Blackwood had been out on bond prior to the plea agreement, court records said. McDowell ordered him to be taken into custody pending completion of the presentence report, Bailey said.

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