A Worcester County deputy running radar March 19 seized $14,550 worth of heroin near Berlin.
The deputy found the 97 grams of heroin following a brief foot chase in nearby woods, which ended when he shot the suspect with a Taser. A statement of charges has named 38-year-old Keith S. Sidney, of Hampton, Virginia, as the suspect in the case.
Sidney was later charged with multiple drug felonies, as well as misdemeanor resisting arrest, obstruction and second-degree assault. The Maryland Judiciary Case Search shows Sidney posted $100,000 bond on March 21.
At 4:04 p.m. on March 19, the deputy was running radar duty in the area of Worcester Highway and Germantown Road in Berlin when he clocked a 2017 Nissan Sentra driving 56 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to the statement of charges. The deputy also noticed Sidney was wearing earphones while driving, which is a violation of the state's traffic code, court records show.
Upon being pulled over, Sidney told the deputy he was traveling from Hampton too Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to stay for a week, according to the statement. However, the deputy did not see any luggage inside the car and three cellphones in the front seat--a tip off Sidney may have been smuggling drugs, the deputy noted.
The area is also a known smuggling route for cigarettes, guns and drugs from the Tidewater area of Virginia to northern cities such as Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City, according to the charging documents. Given the location, the three cellphones and the fact that the Sentra was a rental car, the deputy's suspicions grew, records show.
After writing Sidney a warning, the deputy asked him to get out of the car so he could explain the paper work to him, according to the statement. Sidney complied with the officer when asked if he could be patted down for weapons, the deputy said. During the pat down, the deputy felt a bulge in Sidney's pocket that felt like a plastic baggie used to package drugs, records show.
When the deputy asked what was in Sidney's pocket, the suspect's voice cracked and he started breathing heavily, the statement shows. He then backed away from the deputy and into the roadway without looking for traffic, according to the records. The deputy touched Sidney's shoulder and tried to guide him back off the road, but Sidney pulled away and tried to run to his car, deputies said.
Another deputy that arrived on scene grabbed Sidney's arm, records show. He was then turned around and placed against a car to be arrested, deputies said. However, Sidney bumped his body off of the arresting officer to try to get away and was subsequently forced against a guardrail, records show. In order to safely arrest Sidney, deputies said he was placed over the guardrail.
That's when Sidney jumped to his feet and ran towards the woods, sparking a foot chase, records show. During the chase, Sidney reached into his pocket and threw out the bag of heroin before the deputy shot him in the back with a Taser — a stun gun with electrified projectile tips — causing him to drop to the ground, according to the statement.
At 4:14 p.m., Sidney was placed into custody by deputies, according to the records. A Berlin Police Department K-9 unit later found the bag of heroin in the woods, near where deputies took him in, charging documents reveal.
In addition to the 97 grams of heroin, deputies also found about $2,300 in small bills on Sidney, records show. During a police interview at the sheriff's office, deputies said Sidney admitted to selling heroin in order to supplement his income because he wasn't getting enough hours at work. Sidney denied being a heroin user, instead stating "I'm a mule, just to make money."
The charges are the first for Sidney in Maryland.
But in the Hampton area, Virginia Case Information records show Sidney was convicted of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm with cocaine in 2000. While given a 25 year suspended sentence on the distribution conviction, Sidney was sentenced to serve 5 years in prison on the gun conviction.
At the time of his Maryland arrest, Sidney had a case pending in Hampton Circuit Court in connection with a fleeing and eluding police charge he incurred in 2015.