Ocean City Today
https://oceancitytoday.villagesoup.com/p/1710136

Underground pot dispensary owner gets six months

Dec 07, 2017
Photo by: Worcester County Sheriff's Office Brenda Pikounis

(Dec. 8, 2017) Flanked by a couple of dozen supporters who lauded her efforts to provide services to sick people in Worcester County, Brenda Pikounis, 54, of Bishopville was found guilty of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and community nuisance charges as part of a plea deal that netted her two 6-month concurrent sentences in county jail followed by three years of supervised probation.

In Circuit Court on Monday, Brenda Pikounis’ attorney John Phoebus argued she was not part of the operation the police were initially investigating, which centered on her estranged husband, Socrates Pikounis. A resort resident is credited with tipping off police in 2016 about the activities of Socrates, the former owner of Soc’s Place on 139th Street.

Police stopped Socrates Pikounis on Aug. 9 near the junction of Route 113 and Route 90 just north of Berlin and discovered a baggie of suspected heroin in the car’s center console. After his arrest, police executed search warrants on his home in Bishopville as well as a storage unit. It was there the activities attributed to Brenda were discovered.

Police found more than 80 mason jars containing an ounce of marijuana each, careful records of customer interactions plus cannabis edibles and concentrated THC wax among the contraband.

According to prosecutors, Pikounis would import product from California, have it shipped to New Jersey for processing and then drive it back to Maryland.

“Hospice patients are being driven by nurses to her house for her services,” Phoebus said. “Dozens of people in the courtroom support her efforts.”

At least two dozen people more than 50 years in age and without a speck of tie dye in the crowd vocalized their support during the proceeding. Without censure from the court, they quieted down immediately.

“Unlike Bill Clinton, I did inhale — on foreign soil where it was legal. I’m not against marijuana, though I didn’t like it,” Judge Newton Jackson said.

Jackson said sentencing can be a deterrent, and Pikounis’ sentencing needed to reflect that, since there is a regulatory apparatus to dispense medical marijuana in Maryland that the defendant sidestepped it.

As part of the plea deal, Pikounis signed away her claim to more than $87,000 in cash and other assets, including precious metals and vehicles.

Socrates Pikounis is scheduled for jury trial in March 2018.

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