A Waco man was sentenced on May 31 to 65 years in prison for dealing drugs. Since he has five prior felony convictions, he was charged as a habitual offender.
The previous day, a jury in Waco convicted the defendant, age 36, of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver. Because he was accused of being a habitual offender, the charge was considered a first-degree felony. He pleaded guilty to similar federal charges three years ago and received a 13-year sentence, which he is still serving. Prosecutors had asked for his new sentence to be added onto the end of his federal term, but the judge ordered that the sentences be served concurrently.
The defendant was arrested after Waco police raided three homes in 2013. He was found to be in possession of 446 grams of marijuana, 113 grams of cocaine, 44 grams of heroin, 20 grams of methamphetamine and various pills. He also possessed drug paraphernalia and two pistols. During his three-day trial, a gang expert claimed two of his tattoos indicated he was a member of the Crips gang. However, he denied the accusation, claiming he was only a "hustler." He has previously been convicted of attempted murder, tampering with physical evidence, delivery of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance. All of the charges were felonies.
Defendants facing charges for alleged drug crimes may want to pursue a plea bargain. This strategy involves having a criminal defense attorney meet with prosecutors to negotiate potential charges and penalties. If the defendant accepts the deal, it could lead to a more lenient sentence.