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'Significant' Taneytown drug dealer gets 20 years

Joseph Page
Joseph Page

A Taneytown man considered to be a "significant drug dealer" and "major criminal offender" by Carroll law enforcement was sentenced to 20 years in state prison Monday.

Joseph Jerome Page, 39, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of cocaine distribution stemming from a July arrest in the Taylorsville area. Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Stansfield immediately handed down a 20-year sentence to be served at the state Division of Corrections, the same sentence recommended by prosecutors, according to a news release from the Carroll County State's Attorney's Office.

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A Taneytown man and a Baltimore woman were arrested Friday in Carroll County for allegedly selling cocaine in the Taylorsville area.

"The investigation and aggressive prosecution of Joseph Jerome Page resulted in a significant sentence that, once again, demonstrates Carroll County is not and will not be a safe haven for drug dealers," said Brian DeLeonardo, state's attorney for Carroll County, in a prepared statement.

On July 8, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office's Repeat Offender Proactive Enforcement, or ROPE, Unit was conducting surveillance on Page, who had been identified as a significant drug dealer, according to the news release.

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Detectives observed him and a woman later identified as Toya Nannette Ajaegbu-McZeal, of Baltimore, meet with a male driving a black Ford F-150 in a parking lot in the 4300 block of Ridge Road in Taylorsville and conduct a drug transaction.

Police followed both vehicles as they left the parking lot. The male was immediately stopped, and detectives recovered three knotted baggies containing cocaine. The man told police he had just purchased the drugs from two people in a Silver Honda Pilot in the parking lot.

ROPE detectives initiated a traffic stop on the Pilot, being driven by Page, in the area of Roop Road and Md. 26 shortly after the drug transaction.

Police found multiple bundles of cash totaling $495 in Ajaegbu-McZeal's purse. She told police Page had handed her the money as police stopped the car and that Page was the one who distributed the cocaine to the male in the parking lot, according to the news release.

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Ajaegbu-McZeal is scheduled to take a plea March 7 in Carroll County Circuit Court for her role in the incident, according to electronic court records. She currently faces charges of possession with intent to distribute narcotics, distribution of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia and other drug-related charges.



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