A man who sold marijuana to an undercover police officer in the Thurmont Burger King was sentenced to two years probation, although his attorney argued for less, saying his client was, in effect, no burger kingpin.
Tommy Lee Miller pleaded guilty Thursday to distribution of marijuana. He sold nearly 2 grams of the drug to an undercover officer investigating reports of drug sales at the North Church Street restaurant.
“He was merely an intermediary,” attorney Eric Schaffer said. “It was a very small amount of marijuana.”
A search of Miller’s residence turned up nothing to indicate he was a major dealer, Schaffer said, as the attorney asked for probation before judgement.
He also noted that his client had lost his job and apartment in the wake of the charges.
Possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana became a civil offense in Maryland in 2014, however distribution is a crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Circuit Court Judge Richard Sandy imposed the prosecutor’s recommended sentence, citing concerns about marijuana sales in a family-oriented environment.
Children enjoy fast food “and now drugs are finding their way into that forum,” he said.
Assistant State’s Attorney Amanda Leatherman also highlighted the location of the transaction.
“This is where people eat their food. This was in the restaurant,” she said.
She added that Miller had a prior possession charge in Pennsylvania.
The officer, who posed as an employee during a two-month investigation, asked Miller to sell her marijuana and he agreed to provide two grams for $40. The two made the exchange on Aug 11, 2016, in a backroom of the Burger King, according to Leatherman.
Jonathan Brook Moser, of Emmitsburg, was also arrested as a result of the investigation, which netted five grams of marijuana and two morphine pills. He pleaded guilty to distributing narcotics and was ordered to serve one year in jail on Jan. 18.