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La Plata, MD – On Wednesday Oct. 26, Datonya Monique Riley, 29 of Prince Frederick, was found guilty by association with a former drug dealer. Evidence presented by the State’s Attorney’s office reveal tthat although she might not have been directly involved with the illegal actions of her former boyfriend, she was considered to be “guilty by association” which can still land a person in hot water.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, her former boyfriend was arrested by Charles County Sheriff’s and they recovered 133 rocks of crack cocaine in his possession.

Wednesday, Aug. 24, a jury trial was held in Charles County Circuit Court, and Riley was convicted of possession of cocaine stated, Assistant State’s Attorney John Stackhouse.

“Police went to a hotel room at 5 a.m. with a search warrant and found Riley and her former boyfriend along with the 133 rocks of cocaine,” Stackhouse said. “This is a case where there was a lot of cocaine. A suspended sentence is in no way appropriate. We are asking for active jail time and supervised probation.”

Charles County Assistant Public Defender Edie Cimino told the court the co-defendant in the case bullied Riley.

“He was physically and emotionally abusive to my client,” she said. “She didn’t know he was a drug dealer. He would have no contact with her for months at a time, then he would call her and demand she spend time with him. Her former boyfriend also called her names and brought drugs around her.

The defense attorney told the court in addition, Riley has struggled with Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and sclerosis. “She has a lot of physical challenges,” Cimino added.

“He was a monster to her,” she said. “She craved intimacy. Her family tried to protect her from him. Her involvement with him is the sole reason she is in court.”

Assistant Public Defender Cimino claimed that the co-defendant has attempted to contact her client on several occasions. “I listened to the messages,” she said. “They were horrible. They brought tears to my eyes.”

“I loved a man who was physically and emotionally abusive to me,” Riley told the court. “I am very sorry.”

“I hope this was a wake-up call for you,” Charles County Circuit Court Judge Amy J. Bragunier told her. “You were associating with people who were nothing but bad news for you.”

With that, Bragunier sentenced Riley to four years in jail, and suspended all but 30 days of the sentence, to be served in the Charles County Detention Center, ordered that she undergo a domestic violence program and added five years of supervised probation.

She said she would amend that to unsupervised probation after two years if Riley stayed out of trouble. “She needs to see what her decisions have brought her,” Bragunier said. “I will authorize her to be released for her medical appointments.”

Cimino asked if Riley could report to the jail at a later date.

“No,” said the Judge Bragunier. “She knew this day was coming.”

Originally posted at The BayNet: http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/1016/codefendantincocainecasesentenced.html

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