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Va. man sentenced for drug possession

November 22, 2000

Va. man sentenced for drug possession



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A Virginia man who failed to show up for three court appearances was sentenced in his absence Wednesday by a Franklin County judge to up to three years in the state prison for drug possession and providing false information to police.

Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Douglas Herman sentenced Heath Brandon Smith, of Winchester, Va., to six to 12 months for possession of a small amount of marijuana and four to 24 months for giving a false identity to police.

Smith, 27, was charged July 16, 1999, when a Chambersburg Police officer stopped him at a traffic stop on North Second Street, according to court records.

Police searched the vehicle and found a small amount of marijuana and several marijuana butts. Smith also gave police a false name, the records show.

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Smith posted $10,000 bail July 20, 1999.

In court Wednesday, District Attorney Jack Nelson and Smith's attorney Jim Reed agreed to go ahead with the sentencing since Smith had not shown at two earlier scheduled sentencings.

Herman referred to Smith's prior record in North Carolina that included various fraud and theft charges before determining the sentences.

"It's a detailed lengthy history," Herman said. "He did not respond to supervision well and did not always report (in North Carolina)."

Herman imposed the two sentences to run consecutively at the state prison rather than at the Franklin County Prison.

"Given his historical lack of cooperation, I didn't think we'd fair much better if we put him on work release at Franklin County Prison," Herman said.

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