SNOW HILL – A Princess Anne man with a known history of drug dealing in the resort got the book thrown at him this week in Worcester County Circuit Court when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, including the first 10 without the possibility of parole, following an arrest in Ocean City last March.
In January of last year, the Ocean City Police Narcotics Unit began an investigation into the drug activities of Emanuel Lawson, 39, of Princess Anne in Somerset County. The investigation included several pre-arranged drug purchases from Lawson, who is no stranger to the county’s legal system.
An arrest warrant was prepared for Lawson and resort police waited for their opportunity to serve it on the suspect. On March 30, two OCPD detectives were conducting surveillance around the Crystal Beach Hotel on 25th Street when they spotted Lawson. He was approached, served with the arrest warrant and taken into custody without incident.
During a search incident to the arrest, the detectives found five individually wrapped Baggies of cocaine in Lawson’s front pants pocket including three containing powder cocaine and two containing crack cocaine. When questioned, Lawson told police he was staying at the Crystal Beach Hotel in unit 206, and when asked if they would find any more cocaine in the unit, Lawson told the officers they would and that it belonged to him and not his juvenile female companion.
While a search warrant for the hotel room was being prepared, the unit’s entrance was guarded so nobody could enter or leave. Once the search warrant was secured, the narcotics detectives entered the unit and discovered one baggie of crack cocaine with a rock slightly larger than a golf ball, several loose pieces of crack cocaine, a digital scale, a black smoking device and other paraphernalia. In addition, the officers found two more Baggies of crack cocaine in a jacket on the coat rack.
Lawson was charged with five counts including possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, possession of both crack and powder cocaine and possession of paraphernalia.
On Tuesday, Lawson appeared in Circuit Court in Snow Hill and pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. After considerable testimony from the arresting officers and from Lawson himself, the court found him guilty of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute and sentenced him to 15 years in jail with the first 10 to be served without the possibility of parole. The court merged the other charges against Lawson with count one for the purposes of sentencing.