DA dismisses 11 counts in drug distribution case
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Another defendant accused of being involved in the suspected drug ring referred to as, “The boys” was sentenced in Garfield County Court Thursday.
Nathan Gray, 33, was sentenced to two years of supervised probation, 96 hours of useful public service and other stipulations related to probation, after pleading guilty to one count of attempted possession of more than eight ounces of marijuana, a felony.
As part of the plea deal, which 9th Judicial District Court Judge Daniel Petre referred to as “a wonderful deal,” for Gray, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed the remaining 11 counts against him.
Gray was arrested in December 2007, along with his mother Patricia Marion Gray, 53, of Rifle, and charged with 12 counts including: Two counts of suspicion of possession of more than eight ounces of marijuana, two counts of possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, and four counts of child abuse because Nathan’s four kids were in the vehicle at the time of the incident.
Deputy District Attorney Ed Veronda said that it was the prosecution’s stance that Nathan was not the instigator of the crime, but rather his mother was. However, Veronda said that Nathan was considered an accessory to the crime and that it was the duty of the people to see that Nathan get a felony conviction.
Judge Petre expressed concern with the plea deal saying that he entered the courtroom Thursday prepared to reject it. However, Petre said that he was persuaded to accept the deal, with reluctance, but thought that is was appropriate.
“The court needs to be convinced that it is not sentencing a person who did not commit a crime,” Petre said.
“It’s not that I don’t feel that I’m not guilty at all,” Gray said in court. “I wish I had not been there that night.”
Gray told the judge that he appreciated the plea offer and the possibilities he was given.
In March of 2008, Patricia Gray pleaded guilty to marijuana possession with the intent to distribute, a class 4 felony, and violation of a protection order. She received two years of probation. The district attorney’s office also dismissed nine charges against her as well.
TRIDENT grouped the mother and son in with the alleged drug ring, but Nathan Gray and family members said his arrest months earlier had no connection with any of the others.
– In other cases allegedly involved with the suspected drug ring, Larkin Harris, 62, entered an admission of violation of deferred sentence on March 5. Harris received a deferred sentence in June 2008, after pleading guilty to one count of marijuana distribution, one count of marijuana possession, and another count of possession with the intent to distribute.
Harris is due back in court on March 25 and faces up to three years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, up to $100,000 fine, and two years of parole when released.
– Vaughn Seery pleaded guilty to three felony counts including possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance ” cocaine, distribution of cocaine, and possession of cocaine on Feb. 26. He faces between four and 16 years in prison on the first two counts alone.
Contact John Gardner: 384-9114
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