Jury Asks For Tougher Sentence Of Drug Dealer

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A Gila County jury announced last week that convicted local drug dealer, Anthony Deck, should receive an aggravated sentence -- meaning a judge should give Deck a harsher sentence than normal for his crimes.

This is the second jury convened for the Deck case. He was originally convicted by the first jury, but the U.S. Supreme Court determined that a jury, rather than a judge, must decide if there are aggravating factors.

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Anthony Deck

Deck, 39, was convicted in May of possession of dangerous drugs for sale, possession of marijuana for sale, possession of drug paraphernalia and misconduct involving weapons.

"(The Supreme Court) decision placed us in the difficult position that we could not request an aggravated sentence for this defendant," Gila County Attorney Daisy Flores said. "We believe his history and the facts of the case show he deserves one. We requested a jury trial on the aggravating factors and Judge (Peter) Cahill granted our request."

On Sept. 29, the second jury found three aggravating factors that call for an enhanced sentence: a child was present during the commission of the crimes; a weapon was available for use during the commission of the crimes; and Deck had committed a prior felony within the past 10 years.

The Payson Police Department arrested Deck in January 2002, following a two-month investigation by narcotics officers.

"I looked forward to the opportunity to tell the jury about this case," Payson Police Lt. Don Engler said. "I think a jury needs to know about aggravating factors like when there are children present at locations where drugs are being dealt and there are guns. I think the average citizen is very concerned about that and that's what we saw with this jury."

Deck will be sentenced at 4:30 p.m., Oct. 19 in Globe.

"Judge Cahill will now weigh the jury's finding of these factors with any mitigating evidence that will be presented by the defense at the sentencing hearing," Flores said.

Flores said Deck could face up to 23.25 years in prison.

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