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Trial begins for Taneytown man accused of possession of drugs, intent to distribute

Trevor Lemar Groomes is on trial on charges of possession of cocaine, crack and marijuana with the intent to distribute, but his defense attorney plans to argue that the drugs were for his own use, not for sale. (<a href="http://bit.ly/1LWreA2">Full story</a>)He was later charged with four counts of possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, four counts of keeping a common nuisance by distributing drugs, six counts of possession of drugs and four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. (<a href="http://bit.ly/1MwfFOl">Full story</a>)
Trevor Lemar Groomes is on trial on charges of possession of cocaine, crack and marijuana with the intent to distribute, but his defense attorney plans to argue that the drugs were for his own use, not for sale. (Full story)He was later charged with four counts of possession of drugs with the intent to distribute, four counts of keeping a common nuisance by distributing drugs, six counts of possession of drugs and four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia. (Full story)(Carroll County Sheriffs Office, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

A Taneytown man is on trial on charges of possession of cocaine, crack and marijuana with the intent to distribute, but his defense attorney plans to argue to a jury Wednesday the drugs were for his own use, not for sale.

Trevor Lemar Groomes, 29, of the 100 block of Carnival Drive, is charged with two counts of possession of a narcotic with the intent to distribute, one count of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, four counts of possession of drugs and numerous traffic offenses, according to electronic court files.

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Senior Assistant State's Attorney Adam Wells told the jury Tuesday that Groomes had a "small pharmacy of illicit drugs" in the seat compartment of a motorcycle he crashed late on Aug. 26, 2014. The drugs were found with Groomes' wallet and two cellphones.

Police found a total of five grams of cocaine in 27 individual packages, 1.75 grams of crack cocaine, two ounces of marijuana, 40 oxycontin pills, 10 Xanax pills and eight packets of synthetic marijuana, according to defense attorney Thomas Hickman.

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"We're not talking about pounds of drugs," Hickman said in his opening statement. "We're not talking about kilos of drugs."

The total value of the drugs, Hickman estimated, was $400.

"You're sitting here and this man is charged with possession with intent to distribute because of $400 in drugs," he said.

Hickman questioned why no evidence was offered of Groomes' fingerprints or DNA on the packages or any analysis of the two cellphones, one of which wasn't functioning. He also questioned why Groomes had less than $175 in cash on him and did not have a home, apartment, or car to his name.

"Why doesn't he have these things?" Hickman asked. "Because he's not a drug dealer."

Groomes was arrested Aug. 26 after officers investigating a reckless driver who fled from police found an unattended crashed motorcycle and found the drugs after prying open the seat compartment to find identifying information.

Deputy Daren Metzler, of the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, testified he was patrolling the lanes of Md. 140 for westbound traffic near the Taneytown circle at about 10 p.m. that night when he saw a motorcycle approaching from the east that appeared to be speeding.

Metzler said he activated radar and clocked the motorcycle traveling 87 mph in a posted 55 mph zone, turned on his emergency lights, and turned around to follow the motorcycle but heard the driver accelerate.

After seeing that the motorcycle was heading toward a more-populous area and continuing at a high speed, he said he turned his lights off and backed off for safety reasons but maintained visual contact with the motorcycle for as long as he could, losing sight of it on Sells Mill Road.

Metzler informed the dispatcher that he had a speeding vehicle fleeing from him and the information was shared with nearby officers, including Officer Joshua Rummel of the Taneytown police.

Rummel testified that he was on patrol on Kenan Street in Taneytown and began driving toward Sells Mill Road, using a spotlight to search the woods and fields in the area.

On Stumptown Road, Rummel said, he saw a man walking along the side of the road who appeared to be disheveled and dirty with grass stains and cuts on him. Groomes told Rummel he was walking to his girlfriend's house and fell down.

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Rummel said he detained Groomes and contacted Metzler to inform him he might have found the person who fled on the motorcycle.

Cpl. Michael Zepp responded to the location along with Metzler and Zepp, and started searching the area for the motorcycle, eventually finding it in the brush along Sells Mill Road, according to his testimony.

Zepp said he called out to find the operator and pried open the seat compartment to attempt to identify who might have been the driver, locating the drugs as well as a Maryland identification card issued to Groomes.

After positively identifying Groomes, Metzler arrested him and took him to the detention center's central booking facility.

Wells said he expects to call Deputy Sean Buenger, of the Carroll County Drug Task Force, to testify Wednesday, as well as Emily Potts from the Maryland State Police Crime Lab.

Hickman said Groomes might testify but Hickman is not certain. The jury is expected to begin deliberating Wednesday.

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