By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer
Seven people entered guilty pleas in cases connected to manufacturing methamphetamine Thursday in Madison Circuit Court.
While some of them had their charges reduced to facilitation to manufacturing meth, those convicted of making the illegal drug received sentence recommendations ranging from 10 to 12 years in prison.
For the first offense, manufacturing methamphetamine is a Class B felony, punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison.
However, all those convicted of the manufacturing offense are eligible for parole after serving 20 percent of their sentences. This does not necessarily mean they will be released, but their cases may be considered by the parole board.
In the first case, Gary S. Mullins, 24, and Billie Allen, 29, were indicted on manufacturing meth and second-degree fleeing or evading police charges following their arrest Oct. 19 by Madison County Sheriff’s deputies.
The state recommended a sentence of 10 years for Mullins. Allen’s charge was amended to facilitation to manufacture meth, and her sentence recommendation was one year in prison.
“I guess I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, just trying to make some dope to get high,” Mullins told Judge William G. Clouse.
In a separate case, a Richmond man admitted he was making meth Sept. 14 at the Quality Quarters hotel.
“I was making meth in a hotel room, then the officers came in,” Roy Lee Turner, 31, said to the judge.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Jennifer Smith recommended he receive a sentence of 10 years in prison.
A tip about drug activity led Madison County Sheriff’s deputies to the door of Anthony Rowland Sr., 39, and April B. Hardy, 30, on Dec. 13.
Detectives found a one-step meth lab in the residence on Jacks Creek Road along with chemicals and other materials used to make the drug, according to the police report.
On Thursday, Rowland pleaded guilty to manufacturing meth, and Hardy pleaded guilty to facilitation. The state recommended sentences of 10 years and one year, respectively.
In the last case, a man who was charged with making meth, second or subsequent offense, had the charge amended to first-offense manufacturing in exchange for his guilty plea.
Dennis Saylor, 43, also pleaded guilty to two charges of first-degree possession of a controlled substance.
Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Paco Villalobos recommended Saylor serve a sentence of 12 years on the charges.
Steve Knuckles, 37, who also was charged in the same case, pleaded guilty to facilitation to manufacture meth and two counts of first-degree drug possession. His recommended sentence is five years in prison.
Both men were arrested June 15 by Berea police, according to jail records.
Commonwealth’s Attorney David Smith said in cases where multiple people are arrested for making meth, one person often will take responsibility for manufacturing the drug. This sometimes leads to amending down the charges against the other people who aided, but did not directly make the drug.
However, facilitation to manufacture methamphetamine is still a felony charge.
All seven defendants are scheduled for sentencing 9 a.m. June 28.
Sarah Hogsed can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6694.