On July 9, a 43-year-old Leesburg man was sentenced to 14 years in a Virginia prison after being convicted of multiple drug crimes. Following his release, he will also serve five years of supervised probation and five years of unsupervised probation. An additional 12 years of his sentence were suspended.
According to media reports, the defendant was arrested by the Virginia State Police in January 2018 after he sold 1.72 grams of cocaine to a police informant. In March 2018, he was charged with forgery and obtaining money by false pretense after using a fake $100 bill to buy a Bluetooth speaker at an area office supply retailer. When he was taken into custody on outstanding warrants a few weeks later, officers found more counterfeit money in his pocket. After he was transported to Loudon County Adult Detention Center, officers also found cocaine in his pocket.
The forgery charge was eventually dismissed, but the defendant was convicted of distribution of cocaine, possession of cocaine and obtaining money by false pretense. Court records show he has a criminal record dating back 25 years, with convictions on a variety of offenses.
Defendants facing felony drug charges could choose to fight the allegations or attempt to negotiate a plea deal. One of the benefits of plea deals is that they often involve a reduction of charges, which can lead to a lighter sentence. They also spare the defendant the stress of going through a trial and eliminate the risk of being convicted on all charges by a jury. A criminal defense attorney could carefully review a defendant's case and advise the best course of action to take. If a plea bargain is recommended, legal counsel could work to obtain the best deal possible.