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Charlottesville judge certifies drug charges
April 2013

A man who told police he sold drugs to help provide for his family brought two rows of supporters to Charlottesville General District Court on Thursday.

Police and prosecutors said in court that Maurice Toneal Harris had been polite and cooperative with investigators since Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force members raided his Burnet Street home in December, netting a Gucci bag and Redskins duffel bag containing cocaine and marijuana.

Harris told detectives that he would travel to Miami every two months to buy about four ounces of cocaine to sell and trade for marijuana back home in Charlottesville, police testified.

He accepted responsibility immediately and asked investigators to leave his loved ones out of their probe, said Tavis Coffin, a member of the JADE task force.

Judge Robert H. Downer Jr. certified two felony charges against Harris to a Charlottesville grand jury that convenes Monday: Possession of controlled substances with the intent to sell and transporting drugs into Virginia.

Prosecutors withdrew a marijuana distribution charge and a charge of possessing a gun while in possession of controlled substances. Harris remains free on bond.

Yeah-But-Were-They-Wearing-Their-Seatbelts News

Officer injured during Charlottesville arrest 
April 2013 

A Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement officer was hospitalized Wednesday with non life-threatening injuries when a man he tried to arrest allegedly rammed the passenger door of the officer's car, police said. 

JADE officers attempted to stop a black Chrysler PT Cruiser at about 3:15 p.m. to serve Marcell Turner with five drug-related arrest warrants, four from the city of Charlottesville and one from Albemarle County, said Charlottesville Police Lt. Ronnie Roberts. 

The 25-year-old rammed two JADE cruisers before driving off, Roberts said. Charlottesville police officers chased Turner to the 1600 block of Meridian Street, he said. 

Turner jumped from the moving car and ran behind some houses, at which point officers continued the chase on foot, according to Roberts. An Albemarle County police K-9 tracked Turner to a basement apartment, he said. 

Police could not provide further details about Turner's current charges or anticipated charges stemming from Wednesday's chase by press time.