Pubdate: Sun, 24 Oct 2004
Source: Bay City Tribune, The (TX)
Copyright: 2004 Bay City Tribune
Author: Michael Smith, Bay City Tribune
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Drug-Free Zones)


A Matagorda County jury handed a Bay City man the maximum possible
punishment -- 99 years in prison -- on a conviction of selling crack
cocaine Wednesday -- the second such sentence in as many weeks.

Johnnie Jones, 27, of Bay City, was convicted of unlawful delivery of
a controlled substance in a drug free zone.

In addition to the 99-year sentence, the jury also assessed Jones a
$20,000 fine.

Jones resisted authorities during the trial -- refusing to change out
of his jail outfit and forcing deputies to physically carry him into
the courtroom, deputies said.

Jones also struggled with officers later during fingerprinting after
his sentencing, deputies said.

Jones was accused of selling 2.5 ounces of crack cocaine to an
undercover officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

The DPS officer negotiated the sale with Jones on March 10, 2003 in
the Roland Hillard Memorial Apartments at 1408 Whitson Street,
according to the indictment.

The apartments are within 1,000 feet of Linnie Roberts Elementary, and
convictions for selling drugs within that distance of a school, by
state law, draw a stiffer felony classification.

Jones told the undercover officer that he would sell the drugs for
$400 an ounce.

After the officer asked to see them, Jones gave the officer three
individually wrapped bags containing the drugs, records show.

The officer paid $1,000 for the bags, and left the complex to meet
with a federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agent who took them into
evidence, indictment records show.

Jones was arrested about 11 a.m. Aug. 28, 2003 on the 1900 block of
Avenue M in Bay City and booked into Matagorda County Jail on a charge
of delivery of a controlled substance within a drug-free zone, the
indictment shows.

Jones was taken Thursday to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice's
Byrd Unit in Huntsville, deputies said.
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