Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Bowie man charged with marijuana possession, assault

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A Bowie man wanted by federal law enforcement and police departments in Virginia and Washington, D.C., was charged Aug. 13 in Takoma Park with drug possession, assault on an officer and other charges, according to Takoma Park police.

Detective Thomas Black of the Takoma Park Police Department said officers found more than 10 pounds of marijuana in the 2001 Acura that Samuel Lee Francis, 33, was driving when police pulled him over in a routine traffic stop about 7:05 p.m. in the 8200 block of Carroll Avenue.

Black said officers had probable cause to search the vehicle but would not elaborate on the reasons for the search. While officers searched the car, Francis, who had been standing outside near the vehicle, allegedly took off running.

Black said several officers chased Francis into the 8100 block of Lockney Avenue, where Francis allegedly became "combative" as he was apprehended.

"From my understanding, he struck [one officer] several times in the face and then tried to disarm him," Black said.

A later search of the Acura revealed 10.3 pounds of marijuana, estimated in value at between $12,000 and $15,000, according to a news release from Takoma Park police.

Francis was charged with possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, second-degree assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and failure to obey a lawful order to prevent the disturbance of the public peace.

Francis, who also goes by the name Christopher Bailey, had been sought as a fugitive by the United States Marshals for a probation violation, the Fairfax, Va., County Police Department on an automobile theft charge and the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department on a drug charge, according to the news release.

Francis faces multiple extradition hearings for his warrants in Virginia and the District of Columbia, according to the release.