Check the Welfare Call in White Plains Leads to Drug Distribution Charges

August 29, 2017
Joseph Eugene Penn, 36, of no fixed address

Joseph Eugene Penn, 36, of no fixed address

On August 15, 2017 Deputy J. Wilson from the Charles County Sheriff’s Office responded the area of Tahoe Place, in White Plains, for the report of a subject lying on the ground possibly having overdosed who may need medical attention.

Upon arrival a witness informed police, the person they were looking for belonged to the blue car parked at the entrance to Tahoe Place and she believed he was sick due to drug use. Five residents of the townhouse community on Tahoe Place came out to the parking lot stating a light skinned black male wearing no shirt, walking with a female in the neighborhood is the subject who was operating the vehicle and they believed him to be “smoking stuff” and at one point believed he had overdosed. The residents were pointing in the direction of Jackson Hole Place, where police had observed the subjects matching that description. Police responded to the location of the vehicle, a blue in color Ford Fusion, that was double parked, taking up two parking spots, with all windows down and the vehicle unlocked. While looking in the windows of the vehicle, police observed a brown/yellow in color prescription medication bottle with no label in the door handle of the driver’s side front door. Inside the bottle appeared to be a white caked substance consistent with that of crack cocaine/cocaine base. In the floorboard on the driver’s side, near the seat police observed a digital scale with white powdery residue which they believed to be suspected crack cocaine.

Police located the black male subject still walking on Jackson Hole Place without a shirt. Police requested the subject to provide them with identification, however he stated he did not have any. The subject provided a name of Michael Steven Penn with a date of birth in 1979.

While speaking with the subject, he kept fidgeting with the pockets on the rear of his jeans, and begin to tremble/shake the longer they spoke. He had a light film of perspiration on his face due likely due to the temperature and humidity, however within minutes of speaking to them, the subject had large beads of sweat streaming down his face. Police asked the subject to stop reaching for and into his pockets several times, however he continued to do so, they then asked him to turn, allowing them to see the rear pockets of his jeans, once the subject turned, police could see large amounts of cash within both rear pockets of the subject’s jeans. When police mentioned the money to the subject he gave them permission to search his person stating the money was from “shooting dice” and it was mostly one dollar bills, The subject was shaking violently and police could see his legs trembling uncontrollably. When they asked the subject if he was nervous and why, he informed them of recent run-ins with police.

Due to the subject’s nervous behavior and admission of being connected to the blue Ford passenger car, police detained the subject in hand cuffs for transport, back to the vehicle. Upon arrival at the vehicle, police removed the prescription medication bottle and digital scale with white powdery residue in front of Penn. They explained to Penn, these items being in plain view created probable cause for them to search the rest of the vehicle. The Penn Subject stated none of the property within the vehicle belonged to him.

The white caked powdery substance within the bottle was broken into several small pieces, and one large piece. The larger piece of suspected cocaine base is commonly referred to on the street as an “8 ball”, The white ball was of a caked powdery substance consistent with that of crack cocaine. While searching the vehicle police located a glass tube with wire mesh material stuffed into one end and a black burnt tar like residue within the tube in the storage compartment of the driver’s side door, upon searching the Penn subject’s person, police located $745.00 in cash in his left rear pants pocket. Within the subjects right rear pocket was $208.00 in cash. In the subjects right front pants pocket police located $66.00 in cash. The Penn subject was placed under arrest and chose to invoke his right to remain silent.

Upon arrival at the Detention Center an officer from the Fugitive Warrant Unit was exiting the Detention Center, and asked the name of the subject I brought to the Detention Center because he recognized the subject and knew the subject to have an active warrant. The officer identified the subject as Joseph Eugene Penn with a date of birth being in 1980, who had an active warrant for failure to appear.

Police advised Joseph Eugene Penn, 36, of no fixed address, he would now be charged with a false statement to a police officer for intentionally falsifying his identity during this investigation. All narcotics, the sum of cash, and digital scale are indicative of possession with intent to distribute. The white substances within prescription medication bottle field tested positive for crack cocaine and totaled 4 grams in weight.

Joseph Eugene Penn was charged with:

  • False statement to a police officer
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Possession of drugs (cocaine)
  • Possession of drugs (cocaine) with the intent to distribute

Joseph Eugene Penn, 36, of no fixed address

Joseph Eugene Penn, 36, of no fixed address