Sugar Grove man withdraws part of plea on drug charges

A Sugar Grove man who pled guilty to drug charges in October had part of his plea withdrawn on Monday.

The withdrawal was made in the case of Douglas Harkins, Sr., who was charged with corrupt organizations – employee; possession with intent to deliver; criminal use of a communication facility; possession of controlled substance; and fleeing or attempting to elude police.

Online court records show that he pled guilty on October 31 to possession with intent to deliver, criminal use of a communications facility and fleeing or attempting to elude police.

Harkins’ attorney, Henry Borger, said at a proceeding last month that there was an “implicit understanding” of his client’s prior record score that didn’t take into account his juvenile record. Borger said the change in prior record “dramatically changed the sentence guideline.”

Judge Gregory Hammond said in that proceeding that Harkins had been convicted of theft twice as an adult. When he was sentenced on one of those in 2007, Hammond said, the probation report prepared prior to sentencing included Harkins’ juvenile record — which includes charges including burglary and rape.

An evidentiary hearing was slated for Monday but Borger said at the beginning of the proceeding that he wanted to amend his motion to withdraw to just include the charge of criminal use of a communications facility because there is a “reasonable assertion of innocence on that charge.”

First Assistant District Attorney Caleb Gnage said that he had no objection to Borger’s amendment.

Hammond said on Monday that the motion to withdraw meets the legal requirement and advised Harkins that he would be sentenced at a later date as a repeat felon in light of his juvenile record.

Police originally charged Harkins in March 2016.

Officers arranged a drug purchase from Harkins in March 2016 involving a confidential informant, Sheriff Ken Klakamp said at Harkins’ preliminary hearing. The buy was not recorded.

The informant purchased 3.7 grams of marijuana for $70 at Harkins’ home, he said.

“He stated that he sold to approximately 200 customers” between 2003 and 2015, Klakamp said. “He admitted that he would borrow money from Mr. Geiger to buy pounds of marijuana.”

In both the recording and the interview, Harkins admitted to selling drugs and stolen items for Franklin Geiger, Klakamp said.

“He admitted that he was selling marijuana for Mr. (Franklin) Geiger,” Klakamp said.

Geiger received a state prison sentence last year after he pled guilty to two counts of possession with intent to deliver, criminal use of a communications facility, corrupt organizations, buying/exchanging federal food stamps and cruelty to animals.