Guilty Plea in Drugs, Gun Case

OCEAN CITY- A Denton, Md. man arrested in July for carrying a loaded handgun in downtown Ocean City after an Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officer observed him and another man smoking marijuana while walking down the street pleaded guilty yesterday to possession of cocaine and weapons charges and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Around 3 p.m. on July 2, an OCPD officer on bicycle patrol observed two men walking down the street in the area of 11th Street and Baltimore Ave. with one of the men smoking what appeared to be marijuana. The officer approached the suspect, later identified as Joseph Allen Downes, 21, of Denton, and asked if he was in possession of marijuana.

At first, Downes denied being in possession of pot, but later admitted he was not only in possession of drugs, but also a handgun. The handgun, a Jennings .22 caliber long-rifle model J-22, was loaded with two rounds in the magazine. In addition to the gun, Downes was found in possession of one bag of crack cocaine, one bag of powder cocaine, five bags of marijuana, one partially burned marijuana cigar and $270 in cash. Downes this week pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and carrying a loaded handgun and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, placed on probation for two years and fined $500.