A caller identifying himself as Tercel Baker called and left a recorded message stating that he has never snitched on anyone and THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY has no business putting his mother’s address in the news article. The concept of drug dealers getting light treatment from prosecutors in return for cooperation with police is nothing new. However, we shall be glad to take Tercel Baker’s word for as long as he crosses his heart and hopes to die.
Baker is the one who stated to police where he lived on his arrest intakes and information provided by his legal counsel and bail bondsman. Thus, he is the one who made public his address and he alone is responsible for doing so.
Tercel Baker nabbed with dozens of drug charges; seldom had a plea deal that isn’t sweet
“In the past, Anne Arundel County has been too quick to take jail time off the table during plea deals” — Anne Arundel States Attorney Wes Adams
By Ken Rossignol
THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY
News and Commentary
GLEN BURNIE, MD. — The Maryland State Police Criminal Enforcement Division and troopers from the Glen Burnie Barrack arrested and charged an Anne Arundel County man for possession with the intent to distribute. Included in the police press release were two photos of the drugs, cash and a gun that the police report had been seized from a suspect. The information about the arrest on the Maryland State Police Facebook page neglected to note the name of the suspect.
Maryland State Police reported to THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY that the suspect in the case is Tercel R. Baker, 32, of 7833 Willing Court in Pasadena, Md.
An examination of the Maryland Court records for prior arrests and indictments reveal a pattern of conduct in the judicial system of leniency, malfeasance and incompetence on the part of the Anne Arundel County States Attorney’s Office.
That should be reason enough that the police would want conceal the name of the defendant for fear someone might want to review his record. There is the possibility that Baker’s name was withheld from the police press release due to his possible long-time actions as a snitch on other drug dealers, which might explain all the dropped charges against him in Anne Arundel County.
Police say that Investigators seized 96 grams of crack cocaine, 50 grams of marijuana, 26 Oxycodone pills, more than $13,400 and a .40 caliber handgun with ammunition.
Baker was charged with fifteen counts of firearms, drug possession and intent to distribute charges. He faces a preliminary hearing on Feb. 4, 2015 in Anne Arundel District Court in Annapolis.
A new States Attorney, Wes Adams, a Republican, who defeated the incumbent appointed-States Attorney Anne Colt Leitess in the November 2014 election, will be responsible for a successful prosecution of Baker. Leitess had been an assistant state’s attorney prior to her appointment by the Circuit Court Judges to replace her boss who resigned.
On Nov. 20, 2008, a 9 mm Kahr handgun and $210.00 cash were ordered forfeited in connection with a prior arrest of Baker. A 1995 Acura Legend owned by Michelle Renee Jackson was released to her.
An indictment issued by Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on Oct. 17, 2008 resulted in an appearance in Circuit Court on March 19, 2009. The Anne Arundel County States Attorney Frank Weathersbee dropped all of the charges of drug distribution and possession on that date. Baker was represented by the Public Defender’s Office, which is paid for by the taxpayers. Baker had previously been represented by attorney Daryl David Jones, who was disbarred by the Maryland Court of Appeals in 2012 following his guilty plea and being sentenced to prison. Jones was disbarred by consent following his conviction of tax charges in Federal Court. Jones fought to regain his seat as an elected member of the Anne Arundel County Council following his ouster by the Council. The Court of Appeals tossed out the action of the council and restored Jones to office. Jones can reapply for admission to the bar. In addition to representing Baker, Jones also owned a bar that was destroyed in a fire several years ago. Term limits prevented Jones from seeking another term on the Anne Arundel County Council.
At the time of charges placed against Baker in Anne Arundel District Court for possession of a handgun in the vehicle he was operating – possession of drugs with the intent to distribute – Baker’s address was 7830 Levy Court in Pasadena, Md. Baker was represented by noted criminal defense attorney John H. Robinson III, who is a former Anne Arundel County Assistant States Attorney. The police officers in the case were Anne Arundel Officers Flaig, Gentile and Schwanke. The case was sent to Circuit Court for a jury trial.
Indicted in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on April 27, 2007, Baker was represented by attorney John H. Robinson III from November of 2008 to February of 2009. From Dec. 17, 2008 to April 13, 2013 he was represented by attorney Daryl David Jones. Baker was indicted on ten counts of drug distribution and related charges. On Oct. 31, 2007 Anne Arundel States Attorney Frank Weathersbee entered into a plea deal with Baker and his attorney in which Baker entered an Alford plea, which acknowledges that the state has enough evidence to convict him. The plea deal called for a sentence of ten years (that always sounds good to the public) but nine of the ten years was suspended leaving him, but one year to serve. Court records reflect that the remaining year would be in Anne Arundel County Detention Center house arrest, which he may work, meet with counsel and go to medical appointments to begin on Nov. 9, 2007 and to pay court costs of $45. Probation was set at three years. Before the first year was up, a warrant was issued for his arrest for violation of his probation on Oct. 21, 2008. Court records say that Baker was released from jail on March 25, 2009 after a hearing on the violation of probation. Court records report that the probation office had closed Bakers case “UNSATISFACTORILY”.
Anne Arundel Circuit Court ruled that a .25 caliber semi automatic Valor handgun, a 1994 Ford Thunderbird and one digital scale to be forfeited by Baker to Anne Arundel County on July 30, 2007.
Indictments brought against Tercel Baker by the Grand Jury in Anne Arundel County on Nov. 12, 2004 for drug distribution concluded on June 15, 2005. Baker was represented by criminal defense attorney John H. Robinson III from Dec. 16, 2004 until court records show him removed on April 13, 2013. States Attorney Frank Weathersbee dropped all of the charges against Baker on June 15, 2005. Often prosecutors drop charges when a defendant rats on another criminal or gives the police information on a higher cog in the wheel of drug dealing. Other times, police, and prosecutors make mistakes in the handling of evidence or key witnesses are afraid to testify, are murdered or simply disappear.
The Anne Arundel County Circuit Court records show that an indictment for “Escape-First Degree” was filed against Baker on Oct. 29, 2004. When a defendant in Maryland is charged with escape, it usually doesn’t mean the person actually escaped from jail. The charge is brought when, after being allowed to leave the jail on work release, the person fails to return to spend the night in the slammer. The warrant was brought to court on Oct. 31, 2007 when he was in court for other criminal charges. In a plea deal with States Attorney Frank Weathersbee, Baker entered a guilty plea. The deal between Weathersbee and John H. Robinson III, who entered his appearance on behalf of Baker that same day, was for six months to be added to his sentence to be served concurrent with one charge and consecutive with another, allowed Baker to be on work release, see his doctor and noted that “probation already ended, monies deemed uncollectable”. There was no fine and little time. Collection of fines or court costs from a drug dealer is problematic.
Baker was charged by Anne Arundel County Police Officer Brad Rattell on June 6, 2003 for carrying a concealed deadly weapon, possession of marijuana and possession of drugs with the intent to distribute in Anne Arundel County District Court. Anne Arundel States Attorney Frank Weathersbee dropped all the charges on July 2, 2003.
A 1985 Ford Crown Victoria owned by Baker was ordered forfeited by the Anne Arundel Circuit Court on Nov. 4, 2003. $311 in cash was also ordered forfeited.
Charges of possession of marijuana and other drugs, as well as distribution of drugs, were filed against Baker on March 8, 2003 in Anne Arundel County District Court. After Baker had requested a jury trial, States Attorney Frank Weathersbee dropped all the charges.
Charges of possession of drugs placed in Anne Arundel District Court on May 31, 2001 appears to have launched Baker on his criminal career. In court, on Oct. 17, 2001 he entered a plea of guilty and put on Probation before Judgment and fined $100. No jail time was included in the plea deal.
In spite of being found with a handgun in this and several other arrests, along with cash and drugs, the District Court Commissioner released Baker on bond on Jan. 9, 2015 pending trial.
Anne Arundel County could start a used car lot with the vehicles seized from Baker. At least one vehicle seized during his various drug arrests was released to another person.
Other than a pot bust in Baltimore City, Baker’s court cases have been held only in Anne Arundel County.
The criminal career and pending drug dealing charges for Tercel Baker poses one of the first major tests for the new States Attorney, Wes Adams.
In his campaign last year for States Attorney, Adams noted his experience as a prosecutor in the Prince Georges County States Attorney’s Office Homicide Division where he stated that the success rate for convictions increased to nearly ninety percent.
Adams laid it on the line on his website with the following comments:
“The best way to keep our communities safe is to prosecute crime. Sounds easy, but it is not. In the past, Anne Arundel County has been too quick to take jail time off the table during plea deals. Simply put, criminals who get caught in Anne Arundel County do not fear they will receive jail time. We have become an easy mark for criminals.”
“I am a career prosecutor and I will aggressively prosecute criminals. It is time we sent a message that if you commit a crime in Anne Arundel County — you will not get off, and you will most likely go to jail.”