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Sykesville man charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine

Sykesville man charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and cocaine
Michael Patrick Palya Jr.

A Sykesville man is charged with possession with intent to distribute narcotics after being arrested in Westminster on Wednesday.

Michael Patrick Palya Jr., 33, of the 6000 block of Sykesville Road, is charged with one count each of felony possession with intent to distribute a narcotic, possession of contraband in a place of confinement, possession of a controlled dangerous substance other than marijuana, and possession of paraphernalia, according to online court records.

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Mid-afternoon on Wednesday, Maryland State Police received a tip about a gray Ford Taurus with temporary plates that had been parked behind the Burger King at 625 Baltimore Blvd., and in which the caller believed people were injecting drugs, according to charging documents.

At about 3:16 p.m., a state trooper recognized the vehicle heading east and saw it make a U-turn in front of the Westminster State Police Barack and then pulled the vehicle over after it crossed out of its lane before turning into the McDonald’s parking lot, according to charging documents.

The driver, identified as Palya by his driver’s license, told police that he and a female passenger were OK when they were told police were following up on a call about their welfare, according to charging documents. Palya allegedly told police that he and the female passenger had been arguing.

Police say in the charging documents that Palya seemed nervous and erratic in his movements, that his pupils were “very small and pinpoint,” and that he had a small red marks on his hands that appeared “consistent with intravenous drug” use, according to the charging documents.

Palya was removed from the car and handcuffed while police called for a police dog, which alerted the presence of drugs when scanning the vehicle, according to charging documents, and a police search of the vehicle uncovered a digital scale with white residue, two hypodermic syringes and other paraphernalia.

Palya was placed under arrest, and police dispatch confirmed that he also had an open warrant in Pennsylvania and that the York County Sheriff’s Office had agreed to extradite him, according to charging documents.

Taken to the Carroll County Detention Center, a further search of Palya uncovered two plastic baggies “shoved inside a slit behind the zipper of his jean shorts,” according to charging documents, baggies containing an amount of suspected heroin and crack cocaine police believed could not be for personal use alone.

As of Thursday evening, Palya was being held on a $12,000 bail and was scheduled to appear in Carroll County District Court for a preliminary hearing on May 31, according to electronic court records.

No attorney was listed for Palya on Thursday.

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