BENTON - A Haywood City man has been sentenced to two, 10-year sentences on drug-related charges.
According to Paul R. Boyd of the Scott County Prosecutor's Office, 42-year-old David Lee Turner's sentence is to run consecutive in the Missouri Department of Corrections after being found guilty on two counts of sale of a controlled substance after a Sept. 24 trial before Circuit Judge David Dolan.
Turner was convicted of selling crack cocaine and marijuana in an undercover sales operation which the Sikeston Department of Public Safety and the Scott County Sheriff's Department worked together in October 2000.
Turner had prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance (1994), felony resisting arrest (1986), stealing (1995) and criminal non-support (1998). Turner also had seven prior misdemeanor convictions.
"If the facts from the case warrant that one should receive a form of drug treatment and they are eligible, the state might agree to recommend such a disposition," said Boyd. "In Mr. Turner's case, the facts did not support such consideration. A simple user might be a candidate for some form of probation including short term or long term drug treatment. However, a drug dealer should not be rewarded for spreading his poison around the community and profiting in any manner from such activity."
Boyd remarked Dolan was asked for a hefty sentence to be served to Turner in prison on each sales count based upon the convictions and his prior and persistent felony offender status. Two, 10-year sentences served back to back is a hefty sentence, he noted.
"In our system, the danger to the community as a victim is not generally considered by sentencing authorities," he said. "This is evident in numerous presentence reports that indicate that because this is a drug offense, no impact on the victim is involved for purposes of sentencing. This attitude flies in the face of reality. The sale, distribution and manufacture of drugs is accompanied by violence between the dealers, violence acted upon the users and the users' families and other innocent parties in the community that suffer through acts of stealing, assaults, bad check writing, and property damage from drug activity.
"One has to consider the safety of the children and the schools from drugs and drug dealers themselves. Further, we cannot forget about the officers and confidential sources who place their lives on the line to do these dangerous drug investigations. The danger in these drug investigations is brought close to home when three officers have been injured by gun fire, a number of confidential sources have been threatened and at least four drug dealers have been killed in the last two years in southeast Missouri."
After sentencing, Boyd stated," A message has been sent that if you sell drugs in the Scott County area you will go to prison. It is very important that those who are involved in selling, distributing or manufacturing drugs understand that if they are convicted there is a place for them away from Scott County's law abiding citizens. This is especially true when those involved in drug sales believe that they will just get some form of probation on their first conviction."
Out of the October 2000 undercover drug investigation, another Scott County man has pled guilty on two counts of sale of controlled substance. On Oct. 9, 2001, Walter Rainey Jr. of Sikeston pled guilty to two counts of selling crack cocaine. He was sentenced by Judge David Dolan to prison for 10 years on each count to be served concurrently.