Weatherford Democrat

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August 21, 2012

Court denies drug dealer appeal

WEATHERFORD —  

A court of appeals denied an appeal Thursday by a man sentenced last year by 43rd District Judge Trey Loftin to 30 years in prison for transporting a large quantity of methamphetamine through Parker County. 

After being caught with a sandwich bag stuffed with about 6 ounces of methamphetamine, or about $16,000 worth, Alfonso Aragon Jr. pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, more than 4 grams, less than 200 grams, with intent to deliver and elected to have Loftin assess punishment at the time of his trial. 

He appealed the sentence and the Texas 2nd Court of Appeals denied his appeal Thursday. 

Aragon was arrested after a state trooper, who was looking for a stranded motorist who had called a Department of Public Safety help line, came upon Aragon and a woman pulled over in the westbound shoulder of Interstate 20 in a 1999 Ford Explorer around 1:30 a.m. in late November, 2010, in western Parker County, according to previous reports.

The two reportedly gave conflicting accounts and both had expired driver’s licenses.

The trooper then asked for and received consent to search the vehicle, according to the district attorney’s office. He found a large bag of methamphetamine under Aragon’s seat, which Aragon admitted to possessing, according to the district attorney’s office.

The trooper testified this was the most meth he had found during his seven years in law enforcement.

“A narcotics officer testified that the 165 grams of methamphetamine would be worth between $7,200 and $16,500, depending if it was sold in bulk or typical user quantities,” said Assistant District Attorney Jeff Swain, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Catania. “He also said that it could be between 330 and 660 dosages, depending on how much the user ingested at a time.  That’s a whole lot of meth.”

Initially slated to go before a jury, Aragon pleaded guilty July 12, 2011 and prosecutors presented evidence before Loftin during the sentencing phase of the trial. 

The punishment range was increased because of a previous felony conviction for possession of amphetamine and possession of a firearm by a felon, according to Swain.

Prosecutors said they requested a long sentence as Aragon had only been out of prison for two months and already had a large quantity of narcotics. 

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