A New York man entered an Alford plea to a charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in Harford Circuit Court Tuesday and was sentenced to 20 years in state prison with all but 30 months suspended.
Wayne Wellesley Williams, 31, of East Elmhurst, N.Y., was given credit for serving 610 days in jail and will be placed on three years of supervised probation upon his release, according to the plea arrangement.
In an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt but concedes that the evidence is against him.
On Sept. 20, 1993, according to court records, undercover narcotics agents boarded a bus that had stopped at the Maryland House rest area on Interstate 95 and asked passengers to identify their luggage.
When all had done so, a grocery bag remained unclaimed in the overhead storage area of the bus. Williams was seated beneath the bag but denied it was his. Police said the bag contained 403 grams of crack and powder cocaine, along with 11 hats and 11 shirts. Williams, who told police he was from Norfolk, Va., was wearing a hat identical to those in the bag. He was arrested.
Investigators said they then found nearly 8 grams of marijuana hidden in a cigarette package stuffed into the suspect's sock and $1,200 cash in his pocket.
Police said Williams first said the money belonged to his mother and that he was taking it to her.
After police reminded him that the bus was traveling south from New York, where his mother lived, he said he was taking it from his mother to give to his sister.
In other court matters last week:
* Eugene James O'Hara Jr., 44, of Bel Air made an Alford plea in Harford Circuit Court Tuesday to charges of breaking into a house, assault with intent to maim and animal cruelty.
Sentencing was set for Aug. 16.
According to court records, the defendant was arrested June 13 after waking three young residents at a Fallston house in the 400 block of Mountain Road about 5 a.m. The man held a gun to the head of an 11-year-old girl and fatally shot a dog that was sleeping in a bedroom with an 18-year-old man whom the defendant wanted to see.
* Clarence Eugene Banks, 20, of the 500 block of Crownwood Court in Edgewood was convicted in Harford Circuit Court Monday of possession, intent to distribute and sale of crack cocaine in a school zone, 10 days after he was charged as one of six suspects in the gang rape of an Edgewood woman at knifepoint and about a month after he was charged in an attempted murder.
In the two-day trial, the jury heard testimony that undercover narcotics agents arrested the defendant June 5 after seeing him sell crack cocaine to three motorists who stopped in the Church Green apartment complex, which is within 300 feet of Halls Cross Roads Elementary School in Aberdeen.
Sentencing was set for June 13. Banks is being held without bail at the county jail.
* Paul Robert Riley, 24, of the 2800 block of Runion Lane in Bel Air pleaded guilty in Harford Circuit Court Wednesday to two counts of second-degree burglary and was given a 13-year sentence with all but six months suspended. He has been in the county jail since Dec. 5, so his time behind bars is nearly completed. Riley also must pay $60 in restitution, perform 100 hours of community service and stay at least 500 feet from the victims' property in the 1200 block of Perryman Road in Havre de Grace.