Drug dealing near school gets man jail time
David Fergerson, 57, went to a court hearing Dec. 11 and ended up with a jail sentence of four years’ flat time.
Fergerson attended an omnibus hearing in his case involving two counts of possessing controlled substances near a school, Class B felonies, and three counts of distributing controlled substances, Class C felonies.
Law enforcement made several controlled and recorded buys in June 2017 using a confidential informant. The informant purchased crystal methamphetamine on June 17 and black tar heroin on July at Fergerson’s residence on Sixth Avenue within 500 feet of the Nome Elementary School and across the street from Kawerak Head Start. Lab tests verified the drugs, according to court documents.
Fergerson had appeared for arraignment on Oct. 5. He pleaded not guilty and received assistance of a court appointed attorney.
An omnibus hearing is a hearing along the way to the trial, usually soon after a defendant’s arraignment. The main purpose of the hearing is to determine the evidence, including testimony and evidence seized at the time of arrest.
During the hearing, Fergerson decided to take a plea deal. He pleaded guilty to one count of possession of methamphetamine near a school. The prosecutor dismissed the second count of possession near a school and the three charges on trafficking controlled substances, according to court records.
Four years flat time, handed down by Judge Romano DiBenedetto, means no probation. Fergerson also pleaded guilty to a fourth degree assault charge stemming from an incident in March. He received a six month sentence for this conviction. He will serve the sentences consecutively.
However, if Fergerson achieves good time while in jail, he could be released from custody in about 36 months.
Fergerson was sentenced under Alaska’s Rule 11 on plea agreements. This means that the prosecution and the defendant agree on a sentence for the guilty plea. The judge then has the option of approving or rejecting the agreed plea and sentence, but cannot modify the sentence agreed upon. Should the judge decide the sentence is inappropriate and rejects it, the case continues toward a trial.
Fergerson was in custody at the time of the hearing pending $15,000 cash performance bond and a third party custody arrangement.