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Accused Washington Square Park Drug Dealer Nabbed for 81st Time

By Andrea Swalec | March 30, 2012 7:34pm
Washington Square Park is still the site of drug sales, police said in March 2012.
Washington Square Park is still the site of drug sales, police said in March 2012.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

GREENWICH VILLAGE — A man who has been cuffed multiple times for drug sales and possession racked up his 81st arrest last weekend after being banned from Washington Square Park and then allegedly found there with marijuana, police said. 

Herman Wayne, 55, was prohibited from entering the iconic Village park after being repeatedly arrested there for pot sales and possession, 6th Precinct commanding officer Deputy Inspector Brandon del Pozo said Wednesday. 

Wayne, a New York native, was hit with a misdemeanor offense after his 80th arrest, which was also in the park. A judge told him he would be re-sentenced with a felony if found there, del Pozo said. 

Sixth Precinct police then spotted Wayne back in the park on March 24 about 1 a.m. and saw a bag of marijuana sticking out of his pants' back pocket, according to a criminal complaint. 

Wayne pleaded guilty to misdemeanors — criminal possession of marijuana in the fifth degree and loitering in a public park — and received 90 days in jail, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan District Attorney said. 

But because of the judge's order, he is now subject to being resentenced on the prior charge from his 80th arrest. That could mean a year in jail for Wayne, del Pozo explained.

Wayne's previous arrests in the Village include alleged drug sales and possession on Bleecker and Sullivan streets in February and alleged drug sales at West 10th Street near Fifth Avenue last August. 

Drug dealing in Washington Square Park is considered a small-time and nonviolent offense, del Pozo said. Because sentencing is small, too, dealers tend to be repeat offenders. 

"They do their time and then they're back out there," he said.  

Sixth Precinct police are arresting people in the park daily for selling drugs, del Pozo said. They also often find sellers trying to scam would-be pot smokers with black tea and oregano.