Texas Man Sentenced To 99 Years For Possessing 3 Grams Of Meth

By Keri Blakinger 02/20/18

The man's sentence was enhanced in light of his prior criminal history. 

man's hands in cuffs

Last week a Texas man was sentenced to 99 years in prison for possessing a little over three grams of methamphetamine. 

Police in the East Texas city of Palestine arrested Darryl Wayne Lewis in 2014, when a SWAT team burst into his home on a no-knock warrant

During their search, police found meth pipes on both nightstands, and on Lewis’s side they also found a set of digital scales, his cell phone and his parole ankle monitor docking station. Nearby, they found 3.41 grams of meth and several small baggies.

In downloads from his cell phone, authorities found texts about meth sales, a former Anderson County Sheriff’s Office sergeant testified, according to the Palestine Herald.

Though it was a relatively small amount, Lewis’s sentence was enhanced in light of his prior criminal history. 

Records show he’d been in prison repeatedly following four different arrests in six different felony cases in Anderson County since 1992, according to CBS affiliate KYTX-TV, and was on parole for a prior drug charge at the time of the raid. Accordingly, the jury found him to be a habitual offender and eligible for a harsher sentence. 

Typically, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver is a second-degree felony eligible for a 2- to 25-year sentence in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ). 

But for Lewis, the enhancement made his case a first-degree felony eligible for a 25- to 99-year sentence or life in prison.

"Drug dealers beware, a 99-year prison sentence should put you on alert that Anderson County Jurors are sick and tires of drugs being peddled in our community," District Attorney Allyson Mitchell said in a statement, according to the CBS station. 

"Lewis has a prior history of dealing drugs in our community as revealed from his past trips to TDCJ. In fact, this case was committed while he was on parole from a 2008 multi-count conviction for dealing drugs. With this sentence Anderson County citizens are saying loud and clear to the illegal drug trade: ‘Not in our community.’"

This is not the first time the state of Texas has brought the hammer down on a repeat drug offender.

In 2017, a Dickinson man was sentenced to 99 years after police discovered seven pills in his possession that contained 1.18 grams of meth. According to police, it was his 10th felony and sixth conviction for drug possession. 

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.