A 28-year-old man was sentenced to six years in prison at the Stark County District Court on Oct. 19 stemming from five felonies related to narcotic distribution in Dickinson. According to sentencing documents, Zachery Burks, 28, will serve a minimum of four years at the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation after being sentenced to 10 years, with four years suspended.
Burks was found in the possession of significant quantities of marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and LSD, and prosecutors argued that he had intent to deliver the controlled substance.
Court documents also state Burks was in the possession of a firearm at the time of the delivery or attempted delivery of the narcotics and was in possession of controlled substance paraphernalia as well. Burks was, at the time of his arrest, in Dickinson after absconding from parole in California and could face additional charges related to that.
Absconding is the deliberate choice of leaving the jurisdiction of the court without permission from the court or the parole or probation officer in violation of the agreements of probation or parole. It is unknown the nature of the crimes for which Burks was on parole in California.
According to court documents, Burks committed the crimes on or about June 30 in Stark County. As part of his sentencing, Burks was required to forfeit all firearms to the Southwest Narcotics Task Force that were seized at the time of his arrest; the firearms will be disposed of in accordance with North Dakota law. Furthermore, Burks forfeited the $5,496 seized during his arrest.
“Sentences of incarceration shall run concurrently. The defendant shall serve a mandatory minimum of four years in prison in accordance with N.D.C.C. 12.1-32-02.1. and fees totaling $1,100.00,” the judge ordered.
As the assistant Stark County State’s Attorney, Amanda Engelstad noted that the sentencing was prudent to the felonious charges Burks was facing.
“It’s relieving for myself to know that an individual that we know was trafficking these kinds of substances is going to be incarcerated for a good amount of time,” Engelstad said.
Despite the sentence for six years, it is expected that he will be released following his four years of mandatory incarceration.
“That’s the minimum, so he’ll have to serve a minimum of four years before he can be considered for parole,” Engelstad said.