Pubdate: Fri, 19 Dec 2003
Source: Athens Review (TX)
Copyright: 2003 Athens Daily Review
Author: Jayson Larson
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


A Mabank man has received two life sentences for manufacturing and 
possessing methamphetamine.

Robert D. Pierce, 49, was sentenced by a jury Wednesday in Judge Jim 
Parsons' 3rd District Court. Because of Pierce's prior record, which 
included prison time for burglary, possession of a controlled substance and 
theft, he faced a minimum 25 years in jail if guilty.

Prosecutor Barry Spencer said he asked the jury to hand Pierce a life sentence.

"I think they did the right thing," Spencer said of the jury's decision. 
"They decided to send a strong message to drug dealers and drug 
manufacturers in the county."

Pierce was arrested April 9 at his mother's home in Mabank. His mother, 
Spencer said, was in the hospital at the time. A methamphetamine lab had 
been set up in the garage. A confidential source tipped Seven Points police 
to the lab. Seven Points Chief Bryan Tower notified Henderson County 
Sheriff's Department narcotics investigator Jody Miller.

After brief surveillance on the home, Tower and Miller knocked on the door 
and a woman answered. Spencer said the woman was the one who told police a 
drug lab was located at the residence.

"All together, there was between 4 and 5 kilograms of meth," Spencer said. 
"It wasn't all finished product."

Pierce's attorney, Gil Hargrave, said there was not much he could say 
because the case may not yet be over, referring to a possible appeal. While 
saying he could not disclose what his client has asked him to do, he noted 
that "with a case like this" an appeal is "almost certain."

Hargrave said the state didn't put on evidence of how much methamphetamine 
was actually confiscated. He said Spencer relied on a law that allows 
foreign substances "cut" into drugs to be considered part of the drug.

In other words, he said, if only a few granules of methamphetamine were 
mixed with 5 pounds of sugar, the state would be able to claim the 
defendant was in possession of 5 pounds of methamphetamine.
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