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HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Aug. 21, 2008) -- Skylar Sanders, the man convicted of planning to distribute about $13,000 worth of crack cocaine on the streets, was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week by Circuit Court Judge C. Clarke Raley.
Sanders, who has a prior conviction for drug dealing, was also sentenced to serve a concurrent 10 years for possessing a handgun while engaged in trafficking a large amount of narcotics.
“When you’re deprived of your liberty for just one day, one day is too much in the mind of a law abiding citizen,” said State’s Attorney Richard Fritz, who prosecuted the case. “He’ll have to spend minimally four years in prison… that’s a long time to deprive a man of his freedom.
“If he gets out and deals again, he’s looking at very substantial penalties that no one would want to deal with.”
Sanders’ trial revealed that both he and his girlfriend, Anita Plater, were transporting about 130 grams of crack cocaine when the drove up to Plater’s trailer in Park Hall Aug. 31 of last year.
Plater’s home was already the site of a drug raid by a St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office tactical team, where they found a smaller quantity of narcotics.
While Plater testified against Sanders at his March trial — she had been immunized from prosecution by Fritz in exchange for her testimony — she said the crack cocaine police found in her bra was not Sanders’ but hers.
She testified she had saved up $6,000 and bought the narcotics from a drug dealer named “Steve” in Leonardtown.
The jury did not believe her, and instead found Sanders guilty of possession of the crack cocaine.
“The men who think they can use their girlfriends as a shield against prosecution… this case shows they’re wrong,” Fritz said. “We’re seeing this with ever more frequency but the police aren’t stupid, they’ll follow [the drugs] to their source.”
Both Fritz and Lt. Daniel Alioto, commander of the St. Mary’s County Bureau of Criminal Investigations Vice/Narcotics unit, said Sanders’ record, coupled with his latest conviction for such a large amount of narcotics, made him a significant player in the local drug trade.
“His past history speaks for itself, he’s not a first timer,” Alioto told The County Times. “That 130 grams is a lot of cocaine; he’s another of the ones [drug dealers] who needed to go.”