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Chris Olson, Forum News Service, Published October 08 2013

Fargo man gets 10 years for drug, weapon offenses

JAMESTOWN, N.D. - A Fargo man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for possessing 22 grams of methamphetamine and 11 other charges.

David Joseph Gray, 30, was sentenced in Southeast District Court in Jamestown. He pleaded guilty Aug. 13 to a Class A felony charge of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.

Judge Thomas Merrick said he considered sentencing Gray to the maximum 20 years allowed for a Class A felony, but kept it to 10 years in consideration of his age.

“Right now Mr. Gray is 30 years old. With a 20-year sentence, I don’t ever see him living any kind of life,” Merrick said.

Merrick said he has heard from supporters of Gray that he is a hard worker who got mixed up in drugs.

“Ten years is a long time to figure things out, and if you don’t figure it out after 10 years, you never will,” he said.

Gray’s attorney, Ross Brandberg, said his client plans to seek treatment for his addictions while in prison.

Before Merrick handed down his sentence, Stutsman County State’s Attorney Fritz Fremgen said Gray has a criminal history, with break-ins and stealing money from employers. Fremgen asked Merrick to sentence Gray as a habitual offender. Merrick granted the request.

“I’m concerned he has lost all common sense,” Fremgen said. “He’s a danger to the community.”

Gray also had pleaded guilty to five Class C felonies and received five years on each charge, to be served at the same time. Merrick dismissed five misdemeanor charges. Gray received credit for 330 days served.

The Class C felony charges were possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; possession of drug paraphernalia for use with a drug other than marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia for use with a drug other than marijuana; possession of drug paraphernalia for use other than marijuana; and felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, Gray accumulated the felony and misdemeanor charges between Oct. 2, 2012, and April 17.

Gray will be placed on supervised probation for five years upon his release and was ordered to pay $2,000 in fines.