Federal Judge Varies Downward On Drug Sentence; Says "War On Drugs" A "Dismal Failure"

Monday, February 10, 2014

Federal Judge Sandy Mattice, calling the "War on Drugs" a "dismal failure," on Monday morning varied downward on a sentence for a drug "smurf."

Larry Gertsman had been facing a minimum 121 months in federal prison for his role in obtaining pseudoephedrine pills for a meth cook and for the fact a gun was found at the trailer where the meth was being cooked.

Judge Mattice noted the 121 months was one month more time than he gave to the meth cook, George Alder Jr.

He sentenced Gertsman to 90 months in prison.

Judge Mattice said, "When a conspiracy is charged like this, addicts are being prosecuted the same way as the manufacturer." He said some of the sentencing schemes have "outrageous results." He added, "These cases seem increasingly arbitrary."

Prosecutor Terra Bay said the meth cannot be produced without the supplier of the ingredients. She compared it to the person who supplies a gun to a bank robber.   

Attorney Brian O'Shaugnessy said Gertsman had a prior gun offense that caused him to shy away from guns after that.



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