Judge upholds jury’s 30-year sentence for drug dealer
Jerod Eugene Fraierson denied he had any part in selling crack cocaine on four occasions last year in New Kent County. But back in November during his trial in New Kent Circuit Court on four distribution counts and a charge of involving a minor in a drug sale, a jury didn’t see it that way.
Jurors found the Richmond man guilty on all five charges and set punishment at a total of 30 years in prison. Last week at formal sentencing, Fraierson continued to profess innocence, but the judge in the case didn’t see it that way either. Judge Thomas B. Hoover, who could have reduced the jury’s recommendation, upheld the 30 years.
“The jury had no problem in finding you committed these offenses and the court doesn’t either,” Hoover told the defendant.
Fraierson, 26, of 10 West 27th St., got caught up in “Operation Procrastination,” a six-month investigation conducted by the Twin Rivers Narcotics Task Force into illegal drug trafficking in the area. He was one of 16 individuals indicted last May on multiple drug counts.
During his Nov. 23 trial, Fraierson argued with his attorney, Edwin F. Brooks. Then after the jury found him guilty and he had been led out of the courtroom, he began verbally abusing bailiffs and repeatedly kicked the door to his holding cell.
At formal sentencing on Jan. 11, Fraierson apologized for his actions and pleaded with Hoover for mercy and a lighter sentence.
“I apologize for my outburst,” he told the judge. “I was frustrated and shocked I was found guilty of all those charges.
“I know what I did was wrong and I apologize for that,” he said. “I do have kids and I’m very sorry I put myself in that position. I do deserve to be punished, and I would like to raise my kids differently.
“I never threatened anyone, and I’d never do anything to hurt no one,” he went on. “If you can give me a second chance, I can promise you’ll never see me in this courtroom again.”
But when Hoover pointed to Fraierson’s earlier drug conviction in 2002 and a subsequent probation violation, the defendant’s demeanor began to change.
“I know I was wrong for coming into New Kent County,” Fraierson said in a moment of desperation. “I did not sell any drugs, your honor. I was wrong for being in that vehicle, and I don’t want to be taken from my sons for something I didn’t do.”
“It’s clear to the jury and to this judge that you were involved in the sale of cocaine,” Hoover told the defendant, pointing to testimony by an informant who bought drugs on all four occasions and cell phone evidence revealing the defendant arranged the sales.
The judge confirmed the jury’s sentence with no suspended time, citing Fraierson’s “poor attitude, no remorse, and remarks that you could beat the system.”
“I only knew what was going on. I’m sorry. Please don’t take my life from me,” the defendant sobbed just before being led away.
Since Fraierson pleaded not guilty at trial, he has the right to appeal the judge’s decision to the state’s appellate court. Brooks said afterward that his client plans to file an appeal.
Also on Jan. 11, Hoover sentenced the last of the16 defendants indicted as a result of Operation Procrastination. The judge sentenced Paula Ann Sisk, 39, of 3556 North Courthouse Road, Providence Forge, to an active term of two years in prison. In a trial last year, she had been convicted of morphine distribution.
Defense attorney Mufeed W. Said asked for his client to be placed on home electronic monitoring.
Citing Sisk’s extensive criminal record, however, Hoover imposed 20 years in prison with all but the two years suspended for the next 20 years.