BERLIN – The second significant jail term in area law enforcement’s renewed battle to rid Berlin’s neighborhoods of open-air drug dealing was handed down this week when a local man pleaded guilty to distributing crack cocaine and was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
On Monday, Canitchell Brewington Mills, 49, of Berlin, pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine and manufacturing and distributing crack cocaine and was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Mills was one of three local men arrested during the early phase of the “Take Pride in Berlin” initiative launched last year by Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel Todd in partnership with local law enforcement agencies.
The first known dealer snared in the initiative, Graylin Spence, 42, of Berlin, was found guilty in early November and sentenced to 25 years in jail without the possibility of parole. A third suspect arrested during the initial phase of the drug dealer round-up, Dvaughn Miller, 22, of Berlin, was scheduled for trial yesterday in Circuit Court in Snow Hill, but the disposition of his case was not known as of press time.
Mills was sentenced to four years in jail for the possession of crack cocaine conviction and 10 years for the distribution charge, but will serve the time concurrently. He was arrested last Feb. 19 after local law enforcement agencies targeted him as a known dealer in the communities on the east side of Berlin. Along with Spence and Vaughn, Mills was among the first arrested and prosecuted under the new initiative.
Todd and allied local law enforcement agencies last spring launched a renewed effort to end open-air drug dealing in Berlin. The so-called “Take Pride in Berlin” initiative promised more surveillance, more arrests and harsher treatment for those found guilty and the comparatively strong sentences for Spence and now Mills is evidence of the early success of the program.