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Dickinson drug dealer gets probation during sentencing

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news Dickinson, 58602
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

A judge sentenced a 23-year-old Dickinson man to probation for three drug charges during a hearing at the Stark County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon.

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Chaz Stoneman Smith, who is also known as Chaz Myers, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine and two counts of delivering marijuana as part of a plea agreement.

The agreement stipulated that if he abides by conditions, including three years of supervised probation, a three-year prison sentence for each count will be deferred.

He must also pay $3,125 in fines, fees and restitution.

Judge H. Patrick Weir said a presentence investigation showed Smith was not a known drug dealer among authorities.

"That is a plus because had the pretrial investigation report shown that you'd had anything to do with the delivery of methamphetamine in your past, I would not accept the plea agreement and I would send you to the penitentiary," Weir said.

The investigation report concluded Smith could be rehabilitated and Weir wanted to give him the opportunity to do so, he added.

Deferring the sentence allows Smith the opportunity to have the charges dismissed, said Stark County State's Attorney Tom Henning.

"Really it just gives him the opportunity to learn his lesson early on in his criminal career," said Mary Nordsven, Smith's attorney. "Frankly I think that often times youth makes errors in judgment, in part due to their immaturity and it's likely a physiological thing more than anything."

However, if he doesn't abide by all the conditions in the plea agreement he "will be facing substantial time in prison," Weir said.

The meth charge, which is a Class A felony, carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Each marijuana charge, which are Class B felonies, carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Henning said it's typical for him to offer similar agreements to those who haven't been convicted of felonies.

"I made this offer because there is no indication that there are any prior controlled substance offenses," he said.

Smith never actually possessed the meth he conspired to sell, Nordsven added.

"We're a little bit removed from the actual person who had it in the first place," she said.

Smith is accused of discussing the price of meth and likely profit margins in December 2010, according to his criminal complaint.

After a November hearing, Henning said Smith didn't physically deliver meth, but facilitated a sale between a man and a confidential informant.

Henning and Nordsven declined comment after the hearing.

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