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2 men charged with using 'laughing gas'

THE BALTIMORE SUN

State police have charged two men with possessing nitrous oxide, saying they were inhaling the so-called laughing gas while sitting in an unregistered car parked early yesterday along a Hampstead road.

Matthew Craig Gallaher, 22, of Hanover and Ian Sean Griffith, 23, of Hampstead were both in the Carroll County Detention Center last night in lieu of $20,000 bail.

According to charging documents filed yesterday in Carroll District Court, Mr. Griffith and Mr. Gallaher were in Mr. Griffith's 1982 Honda when a Houcksville Road resident called state police and said she saw a "cloud of gas" coming from the car.

State police Tfc. Gregory A. Cullison found the car about 2 a.m. When he approached it, he saw two men sitting in the front and more than a-half dozen tanks of nitrous oxide in the back seat, the charging documents said.

According to the documents, the men in the car allegedly told the trooper that they had placed a small amount of the drug in balloons and inhaled it.

Mr. Griffith, who was in the driver's seat, also allegedly told Trooper Cullison that he intended to sell hits of the gas -- commonly used by dentists to numb the pain of dental procedures, the documents said.

Each man is charged with possessing an illegal prescription drug and inhaling a controlled dangerous substance. Mr. Griffith also was charged with several traffic-related counts, including displaying an invalid license plate, operating an unregistered and uninsured car, and transporting a hazardous material without a permit.

Both men are expected to have bail review hearings before a District Court judge today.

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