Trafficker gets probation for 'assistance'

A former strip club bouncer, who sold trafficking levels of cocaine to undercover officers, was sentenced Tuesday to probation and admonished that he faces up to seven years in prison if he violates.

Randall Fletcher, 25, of Stagecoach, was ordered to serve a year in Douglas County Jail as part of his sentence for selling 83 grams of cocaine.

District Judge David Gamble placed him on five years probation and ordered him to have no contact with co-defendant George Batson.

They were arrested in January after two sales.

Because of Fletcher's assistance to law enforcement in other drug cases, a more serious trafficking charge was dismissed and he was eligible for probation.

"You've just received about your fifth break in this case. If you in any way violate terms of this probation, I'll get the rest from you in prison," Gamble said.

Gamble sentenced Fletcher to seven years in prison with a minimum of two years, suspended, and fined him $2,000. Fletcher also must perform 40 hours of community service and abstain from drugs and alcohol.

His lawyer, Tod Young, said Fletcher had been working as a bouncer at a strip club and agreed to the drug trafficking to build himself up among his co-workers.

"At the time he got himself in this situation he was a bouncer in a strip club. To some young men out in the world, that may seem like a grand situation," Young said.

But, he said, Fletcher had changed.

Even before his arrest, Fletcher quit his job and went back to his family.

"This is a change in lifestyle before he was arrested," Young said. "It would be terrible to send him to prison, to punish him for something he knows he did wrong, but made every effort to try to fix."

Gamble said he was offended by the fact that but for law enforcement officials, 83 grams of cocaine would have been distributed in the community, "if Mr. Fletcher had his way."

"I am very offended by the case, by the action of the defendant and co-defendant. He's not an addict, or doing it for financial gain. It looks very clear to me that it's being done for the stupidest reason of all " to be somebody," Gamble said.

Gamble said Fletcher's willingness to change was an important factor in his decision to go along with probation.

"I blame nobody but me," Fletcher said. "I've been making a really big effort to change."

Prosecutor Laurie Trotter asked for two to five years in prison.

"Those were not transactions that took place at the strip club. They were in parking lots in our community. Guns were involved and put our community in danger," she said.

Witnesses said "guys were waiting close by with shotguns" in case something went wrong, according to Trotter.


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