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Joppa kingpin in marijuana distribution ring sentenced to 40 years; judge suspends half

Harold Morris of Joppa is sent to be sentenced June 28 after being convicted of being a drug kingpin in a marijuana distribution ring.
Harold Morris of Joppa is sent to be sentenced June 28 after being convicted of being a drug kingpin in a marijuana distribution ring. (Courtesy Harford Sheriff's Office)

A Joppa man convicted of being a drug kingpin in the sale of marijuana in Harford County was sentenced Friday to 40 years in prison, with half of that sentence suspended.

Harold Junior Morris, 30, of the 2000 block of Mountain Road, was convicted April 19 in Harford County Circuit Court of being a drug kingpin, possessing more than 50 pounds of marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, distribution of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, according to court records. He was found not guilty of importing drugs into the state.

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He was also sentenced Friday to five years on the count of possessing more than 50 pounds of a controlled dangerous substance and 5 years for the conspiracy to distribute charge, although the latter sentence was fully suspended, according to electronic court records.

Those sentences are to run concurrently to his prison time for the kingpin charge.

The sentence sends the correct message, State’s Attorney Al Peisinger said.

“It says that selling any drug in Harford County exposes you to going to jail,” Peisinger said. “It doesn’t matter what drug you choose.”

Upon his release, Morris would serve three years of supervised probation, online records show.

Because he was convicted as a kingpin — a person running a drug organization — Morris must serve a mandatory 20 years before he is eligible for parole, Peisinger said.

Morris’ attorney did not return a call seeking comment as of 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

During their investigation, police seized 250 pounds of marijuana worth millions of dollars, Peisinger said previously.

“Everybody thinks marijuana is not a problem and it is, it’s a huge problem,” he said. “That was about $2 million worth of poison in our county.”

Tally sheets, or business papers, found in the home where Morris and his girlfriend, Sherrie Lyn Miller, lived, showed they had an additional 150 pounds, Peisinger said.

Sherrie Miller
Sherrie Miller (Courtesy Harford Sheriff's Office)

Miller, 28, who is facing the same charges, has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial Aug. 28 in Harford County Circuit Court.

In November 2016, the Harford County Narcotics Task Force began an investigation following a tip that Morris was distributing large amounts of high-grade marijuana in and around Harford County.

After several weeks of surveillance, the Task Force, with the assistance of Baltimore County narcotics detectives and the Drug Enforcement Administration, executed state court-ordered search and seizure warrants at a storage facility in the 900 block of Pulaski Highway in Joppa, Morris' home on Mountain Road, and his bank accounts, police said.

The following items (and where they were found) were seized as search warrants were executed over the first two weeks of 2017:

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• 249 pounds of various strains of high-grade marijuana with an approximate street value of over $1.1 million (storage facility);

• About $185,000 in cash (residence and bank accounts);

• Multiple digital scales (residence and storage facility);

• One money counter (storage facility);

• One heat sealer (storage facility);

• 2008 Mercedes Benz C300 (residence in Baltimore County);

• 2011 Jaguar XF sedan (residence);

• 2007 Toyota Highlander SUV (storage facility);

• 2014 BMW motorcycle (residence);

• Flat screen televisions, high value women's jewelry and handbags (residence);

• Two Honda personal watercraft and trailer (residence);

• Two large four-wheel ATVs (residence);

• One off-road motorcycle/dirt bike (residence).



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