Joseph Henry Payne

Leonardtown, MD – A Lexington Park man has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail after pleading guilty to possession of cocaine. Joseph Payne, 37, was sentenced Monday, Jan. 12 in St. Mary’s County Circuit Court by Judge Michael Stamm.

Payne was one of more than 40 people caught in a drug sweep last summer by the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office that was dubbed “Operation Undivided Attention.”

Payne pled guilty to the charge on October 17, 2014 but the sentencing was delayed by Judge Stamm to give Payne time to take care of one of his children’s medical problems. At the sentencing hearing Payne thanked the judge for giving him time to attend to that. The judge asked Payne how his child was doing and he said she was okay.

The sentencing guidelines were influenced by the fact that Payne was on probation on another conviction in 2011 and that probation was violated but the new drug charge. The probation was closed by the judge as “‘unsatisfactory.”

Payne will serve his time in the state penal system.

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