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Good bookkeeping helps get meth dealer 25 years in pen

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    The Vindictor | Casey Stinnett — Liberty County Courthouse.
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David Wayne Brantley, 46, of Cleveland was sentenced to 25 years in prison Thursday in the 253rd District Court by Judge Chap Cain III.

On June 12, 2018 Brantley was pulled over by Liberty County Sheriff’s Deputy John Mendoza for having different license plate numbers on the front and back of the vehicle. Upon making contact with the driver for the traffic violation, Deputy Mendoza immediately smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from within the vehicle. Mendoza conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle and discovered about 3 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, a large number of unused ziplock baggies and sandwich baggies, multiple cellular phones, marijuana, several ledgers detailing drug transactions, and over $2,000 in cash.

Brantley was placed under arrest and charged with possession of a controlled substance, penalty group 1: 1-4 grams with intent to deliver. His truck was also seized. Brantley bonded out of jail about 3 months later, on Sept. 3, 2018.

On June 12, 2019, deputies with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Interdiction Unit with the assistance of Liberty County District Attorney’s Office Gang Investigator Paul Lowery executed a search warrant in Cleveland. One of the locations searched was the home of David Brantley. Discovered within Brantley’s home was approximately 2 grams of methamphetamine, more ledgers detailing drug transactions, multiple unused clear plastic baggies, and a digital scale. David Brantley was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance, penalty group 1: 1-4 grams with intent to deliver.

On October 15, 2019, Brantley was scheduled to go to trial. Minutes before jury selection was to begin Brantley requested to plea guilty and waive his jury trial. Assistant District Attorney Kevin G. Barnes consented to the waiving of the jury trial. Brantley’s case was set for a contested punishment hearing on Jan. 23. Due to a prior felony conviction Brantley faced anywhere from 5 to 99 years in prison.

At the hearing, Barnes, assisted by Assistant District Attorney Tami Pierce, submitted 58 pieces of evidence to the court and presented Mendoza’s testimony. Deputy Mendoza detailed for the court the tens of thousands of dollars and dozens of ounces of methamphetamine transactions detailed in Brantley’s ledgers and how the sales were usually not of a gram or two at a time but of larger quantities of an ounce or multiple ounces at a time. ADA Barnes also presented to the court Brantley’s prior felony convictions which included drug possession and a theft.

Upon conclusion of the evidence the defense attorney emphasized the non-violent nature of his client’s crime and requested Judge Cain sentence his client to probation or less than 10 years in prison.

ADA Barnes emphasized to the court that Brantley was not an addict who possessed meth, but was a drug dealer who was distributing large quantities of meth in order to make a healthy profit from human misery and that when Brantley made bond after his 2018 arrest for dealing meth he went right back to doing the same thing until he was arrested again for meth dealing in 2019.   

Judge Cain heard both arguments, considered all the evidence and sentenced Brantley to 25 years in prison and admonished him on all the harm he was doing to the community. Brantley’s  first opportunity to be granted parole will be in just under 3 years.


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THE VINDICATOR has reported the news and sports in Liberty County for 132 years now, and we've just about gotten the hang of it.