BERLIN – A Worcester County man was found guilty this week in U.S. District Court on four counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute cocaine and faces a minimum of 40 years in jail and a maximum of life in prison.
A federal jury late Tuesday afternoon returned guilty verdicts on all four counts against Curtis Schoolfield, 39, of Pocomoke, also known as “Smoosh,” after deliberating for under two hours. Schoolfield now faces a maximum of life in prison and a minimum of 40 years for the convictions. Due to Schoolfield’s prior convictions for drug distribution throughout Worcester County, he faces a minimum sentence of 10 years for each of the four convictions handed down in federal court on Tuesday.
Schoolfield was one of 49 suspected drug dealers indicted by a Worcester County grand jury in the fall of 2006 after a two-year investigation into drug trafficking from one end of the county to the other carried out by the Worcester County Drug Task Force. Many of those indicted in the massive investigation were tried or will be tried in Worcester County Circuit Court, but because of the gravity of charges against Schoolfield and his substantial record of arrests and convictions here, he was tried in U.S. District Court.
According to testimony in federal court, Schoolfield, on three separate occasions, sold crack cocaine in the amounts of 16, 13 and 20 grams to a government informant. On one occasion, he sent his mother, Kay Schoolfield, to deliver the crack and collect the money. Kay Schoolfield was also indicted during the massive probe and her case was forwarded to U.S. District Court, but the charges against her were dismissed in April.
Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd in October 2006 announced during a rare press conference the grand jury had indicted 49 suspects from Berlin to Pocomoke on various drug distribution charges. Of the 49 indicted, 42 were from Pocomoke and seven were from Berlin. Multiple state and local law enforcement agencies executed search and seizure warrants over several days in late September and early October 2006, resulting in the confiscation of large volumes of cocaine, crack cocaine and other drugs as well as dozens of weapons.
While Schoolfield’s conviction in federal court this week is the most significant among those caught in the task force investigation, dozens of other cases have already made their way through the county system with serious amounts of jail time handed down to those convicted. Schoolfield’s sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 20.