A former Baltimore Police officer pleaded guilty on Monday to distribution of marijuana and was sentenced to one year of home detention for selling cannabis while he had been suspended to a confidential informant at a tattoo shop in Pikesville.

“Drug dealing is bad enough on its own,” said Baltimore County Circuit Judge Dennis M. Robinson Jr., who noted that Cejus Watson at the time had been a member of the Baltimore Police Department. “It certainly is conduct that needs to be punished.”

Robinson then sentenced Watson, 40, of Owings Mills, to three years’ incarceration, with all time suspended, plus one year of supervised probation and home detention. He admitted to selling cannabis to a confidential informant on Sept. 20, 2022.

Assistant State’s Attorney Daniel Trimble read a statement of facts in support of the guilty plea and recommended home detention.

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Watson, he said, deserved some form of punishment for breaking the law. But Trimble said a sentence of incarceration could pose a risk to Watson and cause other issues at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Nick Comaromi, Watson’s attorney, said his client is the father of four children who range in age from 10 to 18, and got hurt on the job in 2017.

Watson, he said, had been out on medical disability and experiencing financial distress before he was suspended. Though that does not excuse his conduct, Comaromi said, it helps provide an explanation.

“Punishment comes in all shapes and sizes,” said Comaromi, who noted that his client lost his career in law enforcement. “It’s ongoing for Mr. Watson.”

Comaromi said Watson now has a job in a different field and is studying information technology and business management at Western Governors University.

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According to the city’s salary database, Watson joined the Police Department on Dec. 19, 2011, and earned almost $97,500 in fiscal year 2020.

Watson remains charged with theft and misconduct in office in a separate case in Baltimore Circuit Court. He’s set to appear back in court on Nov. 16.

dylan.segelbaum@thebaltimorebanner.com

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