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California man might face three strikes sentence

Posted on in Criminal Defense

A late December probation check may lead to a three-strike prison sentence for a man from Southern California. Two deputies showed up at a motel in Old Town Victorville looking for a probationer. A man that the deputies say they were not looking for ended up being charged with possession of methamphetamine.

When law enforcement arrived at the motel, there were apparently five people in the motel room. Deputies claim that a 32-year-old man, who is believed to be a Blood gang member, tried to close the door on the deputies. They say they kicked in the door. What may have happened next is also open to dispute.

Prosecutors claim that the man who had shut the door on the deputies dove onto the bed when law enforcement kicked in the door. The man accused of diving on the bed says he was pushed toward the bed as the deputies exploded through the door.

The trouble arises from law enforcement's claim that they found 0.1 grams of methamphetamine on the motel bed in a room occupied by five people. San Bernardino County deputies arrested the man who they claim jumped on the bed. Deputies apparently believe the man was trying to hide the meth.

Wednesday, a Victorville Superior Court judge ruled at the preliminary hearing that sufficient evidence exists to support the drug possession charge. The accused is scheduled for arraignment Feb. 1.

The man accused of drug possession charges could be facing significant prison time under the California three strikes law. State law allows prosecutors to seek a 25-year-to life sentence for people convicted of any felony if that person has previously been convicted of two or more violent of serious felonies. The law allows prosecutors to seek to drastic sentence based upon the past, regardless of the seriousness of the current allegations.

Source: Victorville Daily Press, "Three striker could get life in prison for possession of meth," Tomoya Shimura, Jan. 18, 2012

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