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By SAM ALLEN
Daily News Staff Writer
Ketchikan Superior Court Judge William Carey sentenced a 33-year-old man to two years in prison on Monday for the man's involvement in trying to pick up $7,200 of meth in the mail.
Lawrence Jones, a shipyard worker who came to Ketchikan from Louisiana, pled guilty to the felony charge of attempted misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second degree.
Assistant District Attorney Kristian Pickerell and Assistant Public Defender Margret Bergerud agreed to a two-year sentence, which Carey granted. The plea deal included a dismissal of one count of attempted misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second degree.
The reason for the agreement, according to Pickerell, was authorities from the state of Louisiana indicated they would extradite Jones if he was convicted of a felony in Alaska.
Jones was on parole in Louisiana when he fled to Alaska.
"He's got several felony convictions related to cocaine and marijuana and robbery in the state of Louisiana," said Pickerell.
During the change of plea hearing Monday, Bergerud asked to skip a pre-sentencing report process and proceed to sentencing.
"The state of Alaska doesn't have an interest in keeping Mr. Jones up here," said Bergerud.
The Ketchikan Police Department arrested Jones, alongside Sara Skan on April 3, 2019, for attempting to pick up 28.8 grams of meth at the Ketchikan post office. Skan has a change of plea hearing Wednesday in Ketchikan Superior Court.
"It's unclear who was playing the lead role in this case," said Pickerell Monday. "It's difficult for the state to say that Mr. Jones came here specifically for this purpose, but it seems to be part of his purpose for coming to Alaska."
Bergerud saw it differently.
"I don't think that Mr. Jones came up here with the intent to traffic drugs," said Bergerud. She said he came up here for work, "and fell kind of back into old bad habits when he got here, but it wasn't his intent."
"It's too bad you couldn't just stick to your work," said Carey. "The increase of methamphetamine in this state is just causing hell."
Carey mentioned the effect the drug had on southeast communities, relating to burglaries and child neglect.
"Just this morning I had a bunch of children's cases in which very young children are found with meth in their system from their parents," said Carey. "Maybe they were people who you intended to, you know, that some of your meth wound up with."