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Hagerstown man with long criminal record receives 10-year sentence

August 09, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • John Michael Garcia Jr.
Submitted photo

A Hagerstown man with a long criminal record picked up a 10-year state prison sentence Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court for a 2011 telephone call to a drug dealer.

John Michael Garcia Jr., 48, a resident of the Dagmar Hotel on Summit Avenue, pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

“I’m stunned by the length of your record,” Judge John H. McDowell told Garcia. McDowell said Garcia’s record of about 20 convictions dating to 1983 was the longest he could remember seeing.

Garcia’s most recent conviction was in 2006 for motor vehicle theft, and he told McDowell he was on parole at the time of Feb. 15, 2011, arrest.

The judge noted Garcia had been released from prison in November 2010, just about three months before he made a call to a drug dealer on behalf of a confidential narcotics informant.

“Other than me helping her out, I’ve been good,” Garcia said, referring to the informant.

Defense attorney David Pembroke had asked McDowell to consider a shorter sentence, noting that Garcia has health problems, is on disability, and received neither drugs nor money for his role in the drug transaction.

On Feb. 15, 2011, a task force informant called Garcia, telling him she needed a “buck,” or $100 worth, of cocaine, according to the application for statement of charges. The informant went to Garcia’s room at the Dagmar, and he placed a call to the drug supplier, the document said.

The supplier later came to the room and completed the transaction with the informant, the charging document said.

Garcia’s record includes another motor vehicle theft conviction, several theft and burglary convictions, and two drug possession convictions, according to the list that Assistant State’s Attorney Viki Pauler read off in court.

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