Prison term enhanced to 40 years

January 29, 2014


A 54-year-old resident of Western Hills Harbor switched his plea to guilty and was sentenced to 40 years in prison on a charge of delivery of methamphetamine, District Attorney Rob Christian said.

Joe Don McDonald’s sentence was enhanced because of two prior felony convictions.

In 1991, he received concurrent 10-year prison sentences on convictions for delivery of methamphetamine in Hood and Johnson counties.

McDonald, of the 1700 block of Cowpoke Road, was arrested on Jan. 16, 2013, after he “delivered between 2 and 3 grams of methamphetamine to undercover narcotics officers with the Hood County Sheriff’s Office,” Christian said.

Christian said that undercover officers learned that a man named “Joe” was selling meth in Western Hills Harbor, and they were given a phone number to contact by an anonymous source. Officers made contact using the number and made arrangements to buy 2 grams of meth.

“When McDonald handed the drugs to the undercover officer he was immediately placed under arrest,” Christian said. “The officer’s testimony indicated the narcotics task force had been aware of ‘Joe’ for almost a year but had not been able to positively identify him until the arrest date.

Delivery of between 1 and 4 grams of a controlled substance is a second-degree felony, but his previous convictions enhanced it to a first-degree felony level. The punishment range for that is 5 years to 99 years of life, with a fine of up to $10,000.

The nine-woman, three-man jury deliberated less than two hours before returning with the sentence this month.

Christian said McDonald will be eligible for parole in less than 10 years. Judge Ralph Walton recommended that he have substance abuse treatment before he can be released on parole.

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