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Alton man pleads guilty to drug charges

A 37-year-old Alton man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Halifax County Circuit Court to three drug possession charges and one charge of possessing a firearm as a non-violent felon after reaching a plea agreement with the commonwealth.

Pursuant to the plea agreement, Dwayne Edward Long pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine, possession of powder cocaine and possession of Hydrocodone and Aceteminophen.

Hydrocodone and Aceteminophen both are Schedule III controlled drugs.

The commonwealth moved to nol pros five additional charges against the defendant during the trial, one for possession of Buspirone, a Schedule VI controlled drug, and one for a violation of Long’s pre-trial conditions of supervision.

The commonwealth also moved to nol pros charges against Long for hunting, trapping or fishing without a license, possession of less than one-half ounce of marijuana and trespassing on posted land to hunt, all misdemeanors.

The court sentenced Long to five years in prison for each drug possession charge with all but 12 months suspended and to two years in prison with all but 12 months suspended for possession of a firearm as a non-violent felon, with the 12-month sentences to be served concurrently.

The court ordered work release for Long, ordered the suspended portions of his sentence be conditioned on his good behavior for five years and ordered him placed on probation for 12 months. 

Other Court Cases

Anthony Jerome Currie, 48, of South Boston pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge for failing to return rental property to ColorTyme.

The court found evidence sufficient to convict Currie of the charge but withheld its finding of guilt and continued the case for review to a date in the November court term.

The court ordered Currie to pay $1,225.50 restitution to ColorTyme at a rate of $100 per month, stipulating the charge could be reduced to a misdemeanor if the defendant complies with the court-ordered restitution schedule.

  John Joseph Hamberger, 42, of Chatham was convicted Thursday of two charges for petty larceny, one from Theodore Ratcliff and one from Jamie Slayton.

The court sentenced Hamberger to 12 months in jail for each of the charges, with all time suspended to that already served for one of the charges.

The court ordered the suspended portion of Hamberger’s sentence be conditioned on his good behavior until $5,000 restitution was paid to Ratcliff and $9,000 restitution was paid to Slayton.

The court ordered the defendant to pay $50 a month in restitution beginning in July and every month thereafter, with payments divided equally between his victims.

 Shirley Annette Harris, 34, of South Boston pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of distribution of a Schedule I/II controlled substance.

Pursuant to a plea agreement with the commonwealth, two other charges for distribution of a Schedule I/II controlled substance were nol prossed.

The court sentenced Harris to 10 years in prison for each conviction, with all but 12 months suspended on each charge, with the 12-month terms to be served concurrently on home electronic monitoring.

The court ordered the suspended portions of Harris’ sentence be conditioned on her good behavior for 10 years and ordered her placed on probation for 12 months.

 Samantha Renee Hutcherson, 23, of Alton was convicted Thursday of failing to register as a violent sex offender.

The court sentenced Hutcherson to five years in prison, with all time suspended to that already served, conditioned on the defendant’s good behavior for five years.

The court also ordered Hutcherson placed on probation for one year.

 Andre Darnell White, 26, of Keeling entered Alford pleas Tuesday to a pair of misdemeanors for carrying a concealed weapon and petty larceny, and the defendant pleaded guilty to DWI.

Under terms of an Alford plea a defendant does not admit guilt but realizes prosecution evidence would make a guilty finding at trial almost a certainty.

The court sentenced White to 12 months in jail for each offense, with all time suspended but 10 days in jail for the DWI charge, with weekend jail service authorized.

The court ordered White to pay a $500 fine for the DWI charge; suspended his operator’s license for three years; ordered him to complete VASSAP and perform 50 hours of community service; and ordered him to pay $60 restitution to Jason Ross.