ELKTON — A woman caught with cocaine and heroin mixed with fentanyl after a traffic stop near Elkton in November was sentenced to time served – approximately six months – and then placed on three years of supervised probation Tuesday, after accepting a binding plea deal.
The defendant, Maisie R. Lichtenfels, 26, of Elkton, pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, as part of the plea agreement and, in exchange, prosecutors dropped several related charges against her, including possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
In accordance with the binding plea agreement, Cecil County Circuit Court Judge Brenda A. Sexton imposed a four-year sentence on Lichtenfels and then suspended all but about six months of it, representing the time that the defendant had served in the county detention center as a pre-trial inmate after her arrest.
The judge then ordered Lichtenfels to serve three years of supervised probation, also part of the binding plea agreement negotiated by Assistant State’s Attorney Denise Williams and Assistant Public Defender Nicholas Cooksley, who represented Lichtenfels.
Cooksley told the judge that Lichtenfels would be entering an outpatient drug rehabilitation program in Anne Arundel County on Wednesday morning and that, as part of it, she would be living at a recovery house. As part of the program, which includes group and individual counseling, Lichtenfels will be drug tested, he reported.
“She’s been struggling with addiction,” Cooksley told Sexton, after noting that the binding plea deal and Lichtenfels entry into a drug rehabilitation program mark “a fresh start” for his client.
The judge indicated that she would entertain granting Lichtenfels a probation-before-judgment finding if she successfully completes her three years of supervised probation, a modification that would clear this conviction from her criminal record.
Should Lichtenfels violate probation, however, she could be sentenced up to three and a half years in prison – the part of her sentence that was not suspended.
On May 5, Lichtenfels co-defendant, Mark Garland, 30, of the 400 block of Champlain Road near North East, received a three-year prison term after pleading guilty to possession of a controlled and dangerous substance with intent to distribute, as part of a plea deal, according to Cecil County Circuit Court records.
Specifically, the judge imposed an eight-year sentence on Garland and then suspended five years of it. In addition, the judge ordered Garland to serve three years of supervised probation after completing his three-year term.
Lichtenfels and Garland were arrested by Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Dfc. Joseph McCabe at approximately 10 p.m. on Nov. 8, after the deputy stopped a black 1995 Mercury driven by Garland in the 2400 block of West Pulaski Highway, police said.
The deputy made the traffic stop because a 1995 Mercury is classified as an historic vehicle and, because of that designation, such a vehicle cannot be used “for primary transportation of passengers on a highway,” police added.
A computer check revealed that Garland had a suspended driver’s license and that Lichtenfels, who was a backseat passenger, was wanted on a bench warrant for allegedly failing to appear for a court hearing in an unrelated criminal matter, police reported.
There also was a front-seat passenger, a 25-year-old man, who was not charged in this case, court records show.
At the outset of the traffic stop, Lichtenfels gave the deputies on scene a false name, according to prosecutors, who noted that investigators later determined her real identity when they found a booking photo of her on file.
Brewer and his specially trained scent dog, Max, which alerted to the presence of illegal drugs while performing a perimeter scan of the Mercury, according to court records.
That prompted a search in which investigators seized three pink containers holding crack cocaine, which they found under the driver’s seat that had been occupied by Garland, police said. In addition, police added, investigators found a ziplock baggie containing heroin mixed with fentanyl and bearing the street stamp “Mortal Kombat” inside Garland’s pants pocket.
McCabe also confiscated a “bloody hypodermic syringe,” which he found on the floor beneath the right rear seat, close to where Lichtenfels had been seated, police reported.
At that point, investigators arrested Garland, who was transported to CCSO’s headquarters near Elkton for further processing, police said. They also arrested Lichtenfels, whom deputies transported to the county jail for further investigation, police added.
“Due to the hypodermic syringe in (Lichtenfels’) possession, Dfc. McCabe transported her to the Cecil County Detention Center to be strip searched by a female correctional officer for further contraband,” according to court records.
During that search, the correctional officer found 21 baggies containing heroin with mixed fentanyl inside Lichtenfels’ bra, police said, adding that those baggies had the “Mortal Kombat” stamp, too.
Also inside Lichtenfels’ brassiere, the searcher found a clear plastic bag containing slightly more than a half-ounce of crack cocaine, according to court records. The exact amount is listed in court records as 15 grams. There are 28 grams in an ounce.