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Case of Sharpsburg man whose home was searched is forwarded to Circuit Court

Terry Allen Porter is charged with seven counts each of possession of rifles or shotguns by a convicted felon and possession of firearms after being convicted of a disqualifying offense

January 30, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Terry Porter, middle, talks with his attorney, Rob Kamrad, left, and a family member after a preliminary hearing Wednesday at Washington County District Court.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

A witness testified that police did not find machine gun-style weapons or 10,000 rounds of ammunition when they searched the home of a Sharpsburg man last fall, but Terry Porter’s case will be heard in Circuit Court after a Washington County District Court judge bound him over on 14 firearms charges.

District Judge Mark D. Thomas found there was probable cause for the case of Terry Allen Porter to proceed to Circuit Court. Porter, 46, of 4433 Mills Road, is charged with seven counts each of possession of rifles or shotguns by a convicted felon and possession firearms after being convicted of a disqualifying offense, court records said.

An anonymous caller contacted Maryland State Police on Nov. 8, telling them that Porter had 10 to 15 machine gun-style weapons and 8,000 to 10,000 rounds of ammunition, as well as an underground bunker, according to the charging document.

“He did not give us his name,” Maryland State Police Cpl. Robert Riley testified during the preliminary hearing. Under questioning by Porter’s attorney, Rob Kamrad, Riley said the anonymous caller has since been identified, but his name was not divulged in court.

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“No one found that many rounds of ammunition,” Riley testified when asked by Kamrad whether 10,000 rounds were found. He also testified that a Saiga, a semiautomatic rifle based on the AK-47, was not found in the Nov. 29 warrant search of Porter’s house or when Porter consented to a second search on Nov. 30.

Riley, working undercover, met with Porter before the search warrant was obtained and Porter told him he had a Saiga, the charging document said.

Four shotguns, a .30-30-caliber rifle and two .22-caliber rifles were found, Riley testified. Two of the weapons were turned over to police in the consent search, he testified.

Riley testified that the application for the search warrant stated Porter had been convicted in a U.S. Magistrate Court in West Virginia of distribution of cocaine in 1992. However, Kamrad told Riley the conviction was for aiding and abetting distribution of cocaine.

That still fell within Maryland’s law as a disqualifying offense, Riley testified.

A copy of Porter’s court docket received by The Herald-Mail from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia indicated that Porter pleaded guilty in 1992 to aiding and abetting in the distribution of marijuana.

Kamrad and Porter declined to answer questions after the hearing.

Kamrad asked Riley about the anonymous caller’s claim that Porter buried refrigerators containing arms and ammunition on his property.

“He showed us two refrigerators that were buried in the woods,” Riley testified. Both were filled with dried foods, he testified.

When police executed the search warrant on Nov. 29, they did not find Porter in the house, although Riley testified he had met with Porter there minutes before the search began.
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orter later contacted state police and turned himself in on Nov. 30. He was released on $75,000 bond the same day, court records said.

About 60 Sharpsburg area residents met Hagerstown Barrack Commander Lt. Tom Woodward in the Sharpsburg Town Hall two weeks after the incident to air their concerns over what many felt was an overwhelming show of force by police.

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