Warren meth dealer sentenced to state prison

Dealing methamphetamine has netted a Warren man nearly two years in state prison.

Eric John Andersen, 27, 263 Jacob Lane, was sentenced by President Judge Maureen Skerda on Friday.

He was charged with two counts each of possession with intent to deliver, criminal use of a communications facility and possession of a controlled substance by Warren County Drug Task Force agents back in January.

The charges stem from controlled buys on October 26 and October 27.

The first buy occurred at noon at Country Fair on Warren’s east side.

A confidential informant entered Andersen’s vehicle and conducted the transaction. When Andersen left, investigators followed him “and confirmed his identity, as he is known to us from prior dealings,” according to the affidavit of probable cause. “A field test of the… substance yielded a positive result for methamphetamine and weighed approximately .21 grams.”

A second buy occurred at the same location the next day and resulted in the CI obtaining .9 grams of methamphetamine from Andersen.

Andersen’s attorney, Elizabeth Feronti, said that most of Andersen’s prior record stems from drug problems dating to when he was a young teen.

She said that he knows he is headed to state prison and has had no misconducts in the county jail but asked that the sentence be concurrent to his parole revocation sentence and that he be boot camp and recidivism risk reduction incentive eligible.

First Assistant District Attorney Caleb Gnage said he is opposed to the concurrent sentence suggestion because “probation and parole are a privilege, not a right” and that Andersen continued to use and sell while on probation.

He pointed out that this is Andersen’s second possession with intent to deliver charge in 2014.

“It didn’t hit home the first time,” Gnage said.

When asked if he wanted to comment, Andersen said “Just, I’m sorry.”

Skerda asked him about potential mental health issues raised by Feronti and Andersen expressed issues with depression and talked with Skerda about what services he has participated in.

He said he stayed clean and only started using two to three months before he was arrested on these charges.

“You’re being held accountable for certain charges,” Skerda said, citing his juvenile record back in 2006 for marijuana possession, paraphernalia charges in 2012, tampering with evidence in New York State in 2014 and conspiracy to commit possession with intent to deliver in 2014 in Warren County.

The court “gave you ample opportunity in the community to be successful,” Skerda said. “Failing to adjust in the community, a local sentence is not appropriate because you have not benefited locally.”

She said that the Commonwealth offered a generous plea in that he pled guilty to charges for one controlled buy, not two.

She then ordered his sentence to be in the middle of the standard range and consecutive to his prior sentence.

That sentence includes 15 to 30 months incarceration in a state correctional institution on a count of possession with intent to deliver. He was fined $5,000, ordered to pay $975 in fees, $300 in restitution to the Warren County Drug Task Force, to submit a DNA sample and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow through with treatment. His driver’s license was suspended for one year and he is boot camp and RRRI eligible.

On a count of criminal use of a communications facility, he was sentenced to a consecutive six to 24 months in state prison, making the aggregate sentence 21 to 54 months.