New Delaware drug charges follow lenient treatment by Maryland judges

Jennifer Debois Dickerson's life spiraled into a maelstrom of poor decisions starting in late 2011, and the suburban mother, now 33 years old, found herself charged in three Baltimore-area drug cases and a federal firearms case. Yet she escaped prison time ("Machine-gun mama goes free," Mobtown Beat, Sept. 5, 2012).

In Baltimore County, where she pleaded guilty to pot possession, she received a sentence of time served. In Baltimore City, prosecutors tabled charges that she'd sold 4 ounces of weed in the Mondawmin Mall parking lot to an undercover federal agent. In Howard County, where she and her father, Richard Evan Debois, pleaded guilty to pot-dealing, she was sentenced to time served. And in federal court, where she faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine after selling an AK-style machine gun to an undercover federal agent, she pleaded guilty and also received time served. She was placed on probation as part of her sentences in Howard County and U.S. District courts.

At Dickerson's federal sentencing hearing last August, U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett told her, "I have looked very carefully at this case," noting that he has a "second home within walking distance of your mother's place" in Bethany Beach, Del. "I've got loads of defendants that come before me who have children issues," he added, so "don't let me down on this."

It appears that she has.

On March 20, according to Howard County Circuit Court records, "Dickerson was arrested and charged by Delaware State Police" with new drug charges filed in Sussex County, where she lives in Bethany Beach. The charges include possession of drugs with intent to deliver, pot possession, endangering the welfare of a child, possession of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful possession of prescription drugs.

Dickerson was arraigned on Howard County violation-of-probation charges on May 2 without an attorney, and her trial is scheduled for July 15. The arraignment judge, Louis Becker, said during the hearing that she's facing three years imprisonment if convicted. Dickerson told Becker and Howard County assistant state's attorney James Dietrich that her trial on the Sussex County charges is scheduled for May 13.

After her arraignment in Howard County, Dickerson told City Paper that she "possibly" would end up before Bennett in federal court too, but "it depends on what happens in Delaware," where she says all but the pot possession charges were dismissed. "It sounds bad," she said of the Delaware charges, "but almost everything was dropped."

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