Plea bargains accepted by 9 in recent drug net

Hearings were held Monday for several of the 27 individuals arrested in a McCulloch County drug sweep on Feb. 27. In one of several special court dates of the 198th District Court, District Judge Karl Prohl heard nine of 27 cases that were part of a massive group of arrests and indictments on drug charges for area residents. In all of the cases heard, the accused individuals accepted plea bargains offered by the district attorney of substantially lesser penalties than what was permissable by law. Of the cases heard to date, four individuals have been sentenced to probation with a mandatory stay in a Substance Abuse Punishment Facility (SAPF). The others have accepted plea bargains of probation or deferred adjudication for as long as 10 years. The SAPF program is a therapeutic, controlled environment facility that is designed to help offenders reshape their decisions when it comes to drugs and/or alcohol. The program is a client-based program run by the Texas Department of Corrections. Individuals sentenced to one of these programs must go to a prison facility and participate in the program that is no less than 90 days and may take up to one year. The length of stay depends upon the speed with which the individual progressing through a series of steps that ultimately leads to his/her completion of the course. Once the individual completes the SAPF program, they are released and transferred to a halfway house for approximately 90 days followed by one year of individual counseling sessions and other meetings. Throughout this period of time and for the duration of their probation, the individuals must maintain the terms of their probation as determined by the court or be subject to punishment to the full extent of the law allowed for their particular conviction. The next court date that will have task force arrestees on the schedule will be July 19. The individuals who have accepted terms thus far are as follows: Nathan Bell SAPF; Deferred adjudication; 10 yrs. probation Gracie Davenport 2 years state jail probated for 5 years; deferred adjudication and 5 years probation Wire Dan Nehr 2 years state jail probated for 5 years Paul Price SAPF; 2 years state jail probated for 5 years Leslie Simmons SAPF; Deferred adjudication; 10 yrs. probation Nathan Simmons 2 counts state jail probated for 5 years Jose Valencia 2 years state jail probated for 5 years Billy G. Walton Jr. 2 years state jail probated for 5 years Brad Williams SAPF; three counts of 10 years probation

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