Following a jury’s recommendation from the summer, a judge on Monday sent a Georgia drug dealer to prison for more than 50 years.

Antron Adon Tucker, 44, was convicted in August of possessing methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, transporting meth into Virginia and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute after a Wythe County Circuit Court jury trial.

After reaching their verdict, jurors suggested a possible punishment, which Judge Josiah Showalter Jr. followed this week.

According to police and the prosecution, Tucker, who has prior drug convictions in Georgia, was caught in Wythe County in 2017 while taking a variety of illegal “party” drugs to Harrisonburg to sell.

State sentencing guidelines recommended a punishment of six years in prison, but Tucker opted for a jury trial.

Calling the jurors’ 51-year recommendation “heavy handed,” Tucker’s attorney, Randy Jones, asked Showalter to give his client a shorter sentence.

“This court takes the jury’s recommendation very seriously,” said Showalter, who also imposed a $100,000 fine on Tucker, who’s been held in the New River Valley Regional Jail since his arrest.

Tucker indicated in court on Monday that he planned to appeal his case.

S.C. man convicted of assaulting police officers

A South Carolina man pleaded no contest on Monday to five felonies stemming from an Aug. 3 police chase that ended in Wythe County.

Corey Dennard Black, 34, was convicted of felony eluding police, assaulting a police officer (two counts) and felony destruction of property (two counts).

According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Jones, Black’s vehicle struck a state trooper’s vehicle and a Smyth County Sheriff’s Office deputy’s vehicle during a high-speed chase on Interstate 81.

As part of a plea agreement, Black was sentenced to serve one year and four months in jail with credit for time served while awaiting trial.

After his release, Black will be on probation for five years, during which time he’ll waive his Fourth Amendment protections, which means police can search him without a warrant.

Black’s driver’s license was also suspended for a year and he has to pay $2,500 to the Smyth County Sheriff’s Office and $1,500 to the Virginia State Place for damage to the patrol vehicles.

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