Defendants plead guilty to felony charges in CC court
A Hopewell man, who was set to be freed on bond after pleading guilty last Friday to cocaine possession, will be sitting in jail from now until he is sentenced in April after testing positive for marijuana and opiates.
Judge Thomas B. Hoover revoked bond for Christopher Lee Carter, 23, of 1617 Autumn Wood Drive, after a urine screening, ordered by the judge following Carter’s trial in Charles City Circuit Court, came back positive. A test for cocaine was negative.
Carter told the judge he had used marijuana and painkillers in recent weeks. While Hoover said he appreciated Carter’s honesty, the defendant’s drug use violated terms of his release, the judge added. Hoover ordered the defendant held until an April 4 sentencing hearing.
Carter had been indicted on one count of cocaine possession with intent to distribute and misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession and driving on a suspended license. As part of a plea deal, the felony was reduced to simple possession and the two misdemeanors dropped.
Carter was arrested last July 12 after sheriff’s Investigator Jayson Crawley stopped the car he was driving, prosecutor Rob Tyler told the court. Crawley spotted Carter in the parking lot at Adkins Store and followed as Carter drove away. A check of the defendant’s driving record revealed his license was suspended.
After stopping the vehicle, Crawley noticed green plant material, which turned out to be marijuana, in the defendant’s lap. Carter told Crawley he had been rolling a blunt while parked at the store, Tyler said.
Carter produced a small plastic bag containing marijuana, and a search of the vehicle turned up another plastic bag containing cocaine rocks weighing just over two grams hidden in the car’s console. Carter also carried $136 in cash, Tyler said.
Carter faces a maximum of 10 years in prison although state sentencing guidelines in the case call for a maximum of three months.
In another unrelated case last Friday, a Charles City man pleaded guilty to one count of felony embezzlement. As part of a plea deal, four other embezzlement counts, three felonies and one misdemeanor, were dropped.
Irby Lee Stokes Jr., 30, of 15031 Willcox Neck Road, pleaded guilty to embezzling a dump truck load of sand and gravel from Williamsburg Branscome Inc. during the summer of 2006 and delivering the material to another county resident. The other charges also involved sand and gravel mined by the company.
Tyler told the court that company officials began to suspect that Stokes was not delivering sand and gravel, as ordered, to a construction site in Newport News. Investigators hired by the company followed Stokes’ dump truck from the Charles City mining site and ended up at Stokes residence where 33 piles of sand and gravel were discovered nearby.
Tyler said as part of court proceedings, the prosecution will be asking for $4,950 in restitution to cover costs of the sand and gravel, which is valued at $150 per dump truck load.
As part of the plea deal, the prosecution will not seek forfeiture of two dump trucks used by Stokes and will agree to a prison term of not more than six months, the maximum recommended by the state’s sentencing guidelines in the case.
Stokes remains free on bond pending sentencing scheduled for March 21.
In another case last Friday, a Petersburg man pleaded guilty to one count of felony driving after being declared a habitual offender. Albert Arnold Thomas, 58, of 334 Poplar St., also pleaded guilty to speeding.
A State Police trooper stopped Thomas’ vehicle last April 17 for going 67 miles per hour in a 55 zone. A check of the defendant’s record revealed his license had been suspended, Tyler told the court.
Thomas remains free on bond until an April 4 sentencing date. He faces a mandatory one-year prison term on the habitual offender count and could receive up to five years. The maximum punishment for speeding is a $250 fine.