COURT NEWS: Drug Dealer John W. Pollard’s adventure of texting, sleeping, and DWI in his all-purpose truck led to hearing in Court of Appeals
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Oral argument presented on Oct. 2, 2019, in the case of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration v. John W. Pollard
Issues – Transportation – Was the administrative law judge in error to believe that a drunk driving suspect who refused a test for alcohol concentration could avoid a license suspension by asserting the defense he was “sheltering” in a vehicle without regard to the detaining officer’s reasonable grounds to believe that the motorist had been driving his vehicle while under the influence of alcohol?
Maryland Assistant Attorney General David Merkin represented the Motor Vehicle Administration at the Maryland Court of Appeals oral argument requesting Judicial Review of the actions of the Administrative Law Judge.
Mandeep S. Chhabra represented John Woodrow Pollard when Judge Lawrence Daniels denied the petition for Judicial Review and upheld the ruling of the Administrative Law Judge on March 12, 2019. After the oral argument, the Court of Appeals reported their opinion on Jan. 23, 2020.
Re Case: Motor Vehicle Administration v. John W. Pollard, No. 18, September Term 2019.
Opinion by Hotten, J.
ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS – REASONABLE GROUNDS – The Court of Appeals held that the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) erred when she did not determine whether the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe that a detained individual was driving or attempting to drive a vehicle pursuant to Transportation Article § 16-205.1. Without deciding this, the ALJ could not conclude whether Respondent violated Transportation Article § 16-205.1.
John Woodrow Pollard (DOB 09/20/1967) of 11157 Central Ave., Ridgely, Md., was operating a 2019 Kenwood Dump Truck on Md. Rt. 313 northbound at St. Paul Road at 65 mph in a posted 50 mph speed zone when stopped by Maryland State Trooper Premata on March 20, 2019, at 7:51 am. With Easton attorney Stephanie Shipley representing him in Queen Anne’s District Court on July 9, 2019, Pollard was able to have a plea deal with the convicted speed lowered to 59 mph as Pollard entered a guilty plea. The lowered convicted speed made a difference for the amount of the fine and the effect on his commercial driver’s license.
Stephanie Shipley is a former Assistant States Attorney to Talbot States Attorney Scott Patterson and after several years as a prosecutor, hung out her own shingle as a criminal defense attorney specializing in DUI arrests and defending drug dealers.
John Woodrow Pollard was operating a 2006 Kenwood Dump Truck southbound in I-270 at the twenty-three-mile marker on Aug. 13, 2018, at 6:41 am when Maryland State Trooper Daniel Peterson cited him for tailgating another vehicle. In a plea deal in Frederick District Court on Oct. 25, 2018, Pollard entered a guilty plea. THE DEAL: a verdict of Probation Before Judgment was issued in the matter and payment was deferred until Nov. 7, 2018.
John Woodrow Pollard was charged by Criminal Information on Sept. 22, 2015, by the Caroline County States Attorney Joseph Coale with evidence provided by Caroline County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ron Crouch for three felony counts of manufacture, possession with the intent to distribute drugs and production equipment for controlled dangerous substances, dealing drugs in a common nuisance, possession of pot and paraphernalia.
In a plea deal arranged by Annapolis attorney Gill Cochran on Jan. 13, 2016, Pollard pleaded guilty to felony manufacturing of drugs and the other counts were all dropped. THE DEAL: drug dealer Pollard was sentenced to five years in prison with all, but 18 months suspended – which allowed him to skip prison time and serve his time in the local jail in Caroline County. Pollard was also put on supervised probation for five years.
Trappe Police Chief George Ball Entered Guilty Plea to Covering Up Crimes after State Police Raid on Safe in Police Station Yielded Stolen Gun
John Woodrow Pollard entered a guilty plea to carrying a loaded gun in a motor vehicle when charged by DNR Officer George Ball in Talbot County District Court on May 13, 1992. George Ball later became a deputy sheriff in Talbot County and Chief of Police in Trappe, Md., until he was convicted