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Hagerstown woman sentenced to five years for maintaining a common nuisance

March 26, 2013|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown woman was sentenced Tuesday in Washington County Circuit Court to five years in state prison for allowing her home to be used to distribute illegal drugs.

Sharday Marie Powell, 21, formerly of 916 Summit Ave., Apt. F1, pleaded guilty to maintaining a common nuisance in exchange for 14 other charges being dismissed. Judge Donald E. Beachley sentenced her to 10 years in prison, suspending half the sentence.

On Oct. 4, 2011, the Washington County Narcotics Task Force conducted a search of the Summit Avenue apartment where Powell, her 2-year-old son and Willie E. Chatman Jr. were living. Police found marijuana, cocaine, packets of heroin, the anti-withdrawal drug Suboxone, syringes and other drug paraphernalia and a large amount of cash, the application for statement of charges said.

However, police were back at the apartment on Oct. 10, 2011, as part of a Maryland State Police investigation into stolen jewelry, the charging document said. Powell told police a man had been there a few days earlier to trade the jewelry for heroin, the document said.

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Powell told investigators another man had earlier given her 20 packets of heroin to sell, the charging document said. Police also found more syringes and paraphernalia and $570 in cash, the document said.

Defense attorney Bernard W. Semler II told Beachley that the apartment had been paid for by Chatman, although it was in Powell’s name. Chatman provided Powell with drugs on a daily basis, he said.

Powell had been using marijuana since the age of 10 and cocaine and heroin since she was 15, Semler told Beachley.

Although Powell was charged in 2011, Assistant State’s Attorney Michele Hansen said Powell subsequently spent time incarcerated in Pennsylvania on theft charges.

Beachley declined Powell’s request to serve her sentence locally and eligible for the Jail Substance Abuse Program, or be placed in a halfway house.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of the $7,886.50 found in the searches of the apartment.

Chatman, 55, formerly of Brooklyn, N.Y., was found guilty of possession with intent to distribute heroin and other drug charges in a May 2012 jury trial, court records said. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison, court records said.

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