On May 1, 2018 Lamont V. Kearse of Stevensville was convicted of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and was sentenced to serve seven years in prison. Deputy State’s Attorney Michael “Mick” Cuches prosecuted this case.
On November 30, 2017, DFC Ryan Davidson responded to a call for an apparent drug overdose at 602 Love Point Road and Lowery Road in Stevensville. Upon his arrival he observed a Buick passenger car with a white female, later identified as Amber Cruz, laying with the lower half of her body in the left rear passenger area of the car and the upper half of her body on the road, unconscious, with blue skin color, and unresponsive. Two civilians were performing chest compressions on Ms. Cruz while Deputy Darin Bush was administering a dose of Narcan. DFC Davidson immediately relieved the civilians from their efforts and took over performing chest compressions on Ms. Cruz. Deputy Bush then administered a second dose of Narcan. Also on scene, standing by while the unrelated civilians were performing CPR on their friend, were the other occupants of the Buick. It was later learned that Ms. April Gioffre was the driver of the Buick; Lamont Kearse was the front seat passenger; Jaclyn Crowley was the right rear passenger, and Ms. Cruz had been the left rear passenger.
Paramedic 1 arrived on scene shortly after the second dose of Narcan was administered and immediately began transporting Ms. Cruz to a local hospital. Ms. Cruz regained consciousness in the ambulance just prior to leaving the scene. While the medics were preparing Ms. Cruz to the hospital DFC Davidson obtained Ms. Cruz’s purse which had fallen out of the car on Ms. Cruz’s legs when she was pulled out of the car. DFC Davidson looked in her purse for any identification or cause for the overdose. While looking in the main section of the purse he observed a white piece of folded paper consistent with the transport of controlled dangerous substances. Inside of the paper were four green rectangular pills with markings S903, later identified as Alprazolam. Also located in the purse was a white straw (commonly used to ingest CDS), and an oxycodone pill. While DFC Davidson was beginning his investigation into the events immediately preceding his arrival to the scene, he asked Maryland State Police Trooper John Tucker to stand by with one of the witnesses, Lamont Kearse.
Trooper Tucker observed Mr. Kearse was very nervous, would not make eye contact with him, was shaking, and was trying to get away from the law enforcement investigators. Mr. Kearse repeatedly asked to speak to his family that was located at the 602 Love Point address. Trooper Tucker walked with Mr. Kearse to that location. Mr. Kearse then asked to use the bathroom. Trooper Tucker knew immediately, that based upon the events that transpried and Mr. Kearse’s actions, that he was trying to get in a position to destroy contraband. Trooper Tucker requested Mr. Kearse walk back into the front yard of the property. As Mr. Kearse walked in front of Trooper Tucker, a large orange pill bottle was visible in Mr. Kearse’s back pocket. Trooper Tucker asked Mr. Kearse to stop and turn around, without mentioning that he observed the pill bottle. Mr. Kearse then grabbed the pill bottle in his back pocket and attempted to flee the area. Mr. Kearse was then placed in handcuffs and arrested after a brief struggle.
Law enforcement officers then found nine glass capped vials containing cocaine, a plastic bottle containing methadone, and thirty (30) complete and nine (9) partial Alprazolam pills. The pills recovered from Mr. Kearse’s person were the same pills as those found in Ms. Cruz’s purse. Officers also locted another glass cap vial containing cocaine in the vehicle where Mr. Kearse had been sitting.
A cell phone was also recovered from Mr. Kearse’s person. Deputy First Class Steven Gore, assigned to the Queen Anne’s County Drug Task Force, applied for and received a Court authorized search and seizure warrant to review the contents of Mr. Kearse’s phone. A review of his recent text messages revealed that Mr. Kearse was involved in the distribution of controlled dangerous substances.
Deputy State’s Attorney Cuches presented the case to the Grand Jury and Mr. Kearse was indicted on January 25, 2018. Mr. Kearse initially filed several pre-trial Motions attempting to suppress the evidence in the case, however, Deputy State’s Attorney Cuches filed oppositions to those Motions, and Mr. Kearse entered into a guilty plea to the top charge.
Following his guilty plea Mr. Kearse was sentenced to serve twenty (20) years, all suspended except for seven (7) years of active incarceration at the Division of Corrections. Following his release from prison Mr. Kearse will be on supervised probation for a period of sixty (60) months.
At sentencing, Mr. Cuches stated that the heroic actions of the law enforcement officers, DFC Davidson and Deputy Bush, the two civilians, as well as those members of Paramedic 1, saved the life of Amber Cruz. He further commended the professionalism of the officers to, not only act quickly to an emergency situation, but, to also seamlessly and professionally engage in a thorough criminal investigation which lead to the conviction and sentencing of a drug dealer.