A Bowie County man faces up to 40 years in a federal prison after being convicted of trafficking methamphetamine and marijuana. A jury found the 31-year-old man guilty after a trial lasting four days. The conviction was announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas on June 25. A second defendant chose to avoid a jury trial by pleading guilty on June 4. He also faces decades behind bars.
Court documents reveal that the two men were taken into custody at a Texarkana hotel in June 2017. Police say that they discovered about 1.6 kilograms of marijuana, about 400 grams of methamphetamine and items commonly used to package and distribute illegal drugs in the room the men were using. A semiautomatic handgun was also recovered. Police claim that the man initially attempted to avoid capture by slamming a door in an officer’s face.
This was not the man’s first brush with the law. On previous occasions, he was wounded in an altercation at a Texarkana drug house that he operated and charged with marijuana possession. During his drug trafficking trial, a cooperating witness told the jury that the two men had been distributing drugs out of the hotel for several months. A sentencing hearing for the two men will be scheduled after the U.S. Probation Office completes a pre-sentence investigation report.
While both of these men face long prison sentences, the defendant who pleaded guilty might be treated more leniently. This is why experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise individuals facing drug charges to consider entering into plea agreements when the evidence against them is strong. Attorneys may make this recommendation when cooperating witnesses and co-defendants have agreed to assist prosecutors and the chances of a jury acquittal are especially remote.