Big pot bust leads to prison for Fayette County man
A Fayette County man who police said had 50 pounds of marijuana in a van that was stopped for not using a turn signal was sentenced on Wednesday to 5 to 10 years in prison.
A jury in September found Richard Allen Settles Jr., 33, of McClellandtown, guilty of possession and possession with intent to deliver.
Judge Nancy Vernon on Wednesday imposed the sentence, but Settles' attorney indicated he plans to appeal to state Superior Court.
The same charges against a co-defendant, Derrick Snyder, 42, of Uniontown, were dismissed in November 2012 when Judge John F. Wagner Jr. found that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to support the charges.
In a criminal complaint, Uniontown police Officer Jamie Holland said he stopped the van at the A-Plus convenience store on Connellsville Street on Jan. 27, 2012.
As he approached the driver's side window, he smelled an odor of marijuana.
Settles, who was driving the van, got out. A search revealed he was carrying a plastic bag of marijuana, police said.
Police obtained a search warrant for the van.
It yielded 24 “large green bundles of suspected marijuana” in two garbage bags and $1,300 cash, police said. At the time, District Attorney Jack Heneks Jr. estimated the street value of the marijuana at $100,000.
Settles' attorney, James Jeffries of Washington, Pa., on Wednesday asked Vernon to allow his client to stay out of prison, pending an appeal. Jeffries said Settles is employed and his wife is expecting a child.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Brooks objected.
“We're not dealing with a dime bag of weed,” Brooks said. “We're dealing with fifty pounds of marijuana. He's done this to himself, your honor.”
Vernon ordered Settles to be taken to jail, but she said she will reconsider Jeffries' request, pending the filing of post-sentence motions.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or email@example.com
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Connellsville father to plead guilty in stabbing
- Winery proposed for dry Saltlick
- Connellsville native, puppeteer makes it to semifinals of ‘America’s Got Talent’
- Bridge, road grants OK’d for work in Perry Township
- 3 accused in Uniontown in use of stolen credit card
- Record golf ball collection drives Connellsville native
- Fayette County house from ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ up for sale
- Fayette County firefighters group elects new president
- Barn fire no obstacle to opening of farm store near Dawson
- Late Frazier superintendent’s vision of new school nearly a reality
- Pilgrims ready to return to Mt. St. Macrina