ELKTON — A man caught with more than a quarter-ounce of methamphetamine during a traffic stop near North East in September 2020 is facing up to 20 years in prison after accepting a plea deal, according to Cecil County Circuit Court records.

The defendant, Justin Wayne King, 31, of the unit block of Cimarron Circle near Elkton, pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute on Sept. 21, one day before his jury trial was scheduled to start, court records show.

In exchange for King’s guilty plea, prosecutors dropped related charges against him, including possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and possession of forged currency. The original charging documents alleged that, in addition to the meth, investigators confiscated a stolen Smith & Wesson .308 caliber handgun, which was unloaded, and two counterfeit $100 bills from King during that traffic stop.

King’s sentencing is set for Nov. 30.

Court records indicate that King was the front-seat passenger in a silver Chevrolet 4S at approximately 8:30 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2020, when Cecil County Sheriff’s Office Deputy David Sheckells stopped the vehicle near the intersection of Rogers Road and Timberbrook Drive because the driver – who was not criminally charged – had failed to give a proper turn signal.

Sheckells made the traffic stop while patrolling as part of a Safe Streets Initiative detail, police noted.

The deputy dispatched CCSO Dfc. Michael Thomas and his specially trained scent dog, K-9 Roscoe, to conduct a scan of the vehicle because the driver “appeared to be nervous and was avoiding eye contact and (was) shaking,” court records show.

After the dog alerted to the presence of illegal drugs inside the vehicle, CCSO Dfc. Myles Tornetta, who also had been dispatched to the scene, conducted a pat-down search of King, according to court records.

While frisking King, Tornetta found 10 plastic baggies containing a total of 10 grams of crystal meth inside his pocket, court records show. There are about seven grams in a quarter-ounce. The meth was one of the items that investigators confiscated, according to the original charging document.

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