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20 Years for $40 of Crack, 10 Years for 2 Oz. of Pot? It Happens in St. Louis, Not Just Out West

Categories: Crime, Drugs

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Wikimedia/Jan Kronsell
Ten years for two grams of crack.

Twelve years for five grams of coke.

Twenty years for two capsules of heroin.

When it comes to sentencing nonviolent drug felons, St. Louis prosecutors are not afraid to use the "Prior and Persistent Drug Offender" statute, Missouri's three-strike drug law that allows -- and sometimes forces -- judges to hand out decades in prison for very small amounts of drugs.

Our cover story last week featured Jeff Mizanskey, the only inmate in Missouri to be doing a life without parole sentence for three nonviolent marijuana felonies. When people are convicted under the Prior and Persistent Drug Offender statute, their sentences require a minimum of ten years without parole. In very few cases, like Mizanskey's, a life sentence is handed out. But everybody else gets somewhere in between, and the statute is used often in St. Louis.

A review of 100 Prior and Persistent Drug Offender cases that were brought to the appeal level mostly within the past fifteen years found that 47 were in the St. Louis area, including the county and city.

Daily RFT won't name the defendants in those cases out of privacy concerns, but here's a sampling of some of the sentences that were handed out in St. Louis courts. In each case, it was the person's third drug-related felony, and they were trying to sell or deliver the drug:

Twenty years for selling two capsules of heroin to an undercover cop during a sting operation.

Twenty years for selling $40 worth of crack to an informant.

Fifteen years for 11.87 grams of crack.

Fifteen years for 7.3 grams of crack.

Ten years for selling just under 3 grams of crack.

Ten years for 5 ounces of marijuana.

Ten years for 65 grams of marijuana.

And finally, ten years for attempting to buy $30 of heroin, which was a setup done by a female cop who asked the man to buy her some junk because she was "afraid" to do it herself.

See also: VIDEO: Meet Jeff Mizanskey, Missouri's Only Inmate Sentenced to Death in Prison for Pot

Many other cases involve ten to fifteen years imprisonment for amounts of coke that your average 80s rock star could probably snort off a groupie's thigh in a few minutes.

Click on the next page to read about St. Louis' extreme prison sentences...


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35 comments
crashtest
crashtest

"land of the free", only if you can afford it.


Kill four people while speeding and drunk, but be the son of wealthy parents = probation


Get caught with pot and not be the son of wealthy parents = years of jail time


No too surprising that the so-called "land of the free" has the highest incarceration percentage of any country in the world.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

If judges found strict sentences on the first two convictions, maybe there would not be a third.


Prosecutors do overcharge to get a plea bargain. That should end, and prosecutors should be placed on trial for unprovable charges. It is a miscarriage of justice. Charge them for the crimes actually committed with fairness in mind, not a conviction rate or saving money settling out of court.

Jeff Fortner
Jeff Fortner

here's an idea, dont do crack then you'll be ok!! hows that for advice lol

Warren Davis
Warren Davis

Ya and it's fine to drink yourself silly....or worse, dead.

Duddley Dewright
Duddley Dewright

And the kid who blew a .28 and killed some people while driving drunk got 10 years probation because he suffers from "affluenza". What do you bet the people that get stuck with long prison sentences don't suffer from the same "disease"?

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

Don't waste your time explaining anything to Steve Mincer turd extraordinaire. Waste of oxygen, does that need an explanation?

Ryan Paluczak
Ryan Paluczak

Well goddddddamn, you get three strikes. Learn how to deal drugs properly and avoid jail? Either way, I've had too many friends fuck up their lives from heroin, so that doesn't bother me. Coke and crack are highly addicting. The weed is the ridiculous thing...

Ricky Holloway
Ricky Holloway

You have a problem with that word when applied correctly, Steve? Why don't you use your brain and figure it out.

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Well, coke and weed are on two different levels, but I think it should all be legalized. Put them in jail if they hurt someone other than themselves. Make sure our kids get a real, honest education about drugs starting in middle school. (Not the current system that tells kids to turn in their parents if they smell funny smoke in their house.) Offer government funded rehab and education to those that ask. Many people don't want to get help because they are scared to go to jail. That needs to end.

Blake Harris
Blake Harris

The fact that they're all repeat offender felons makes me less sympathetic , but its still messed up

Blake Harris
Blake Harris

Better watch out, if you kill someone you might get 7 years

Marisela Rivas
Marisela Rivas

move to Canada, it's totally ok to smoke crack there.

Brian Brown
Brian Brown

A drug in pot that is far less dangerous than alcohol will get you 10yrs is (insane in the brain. Think about the money that would be saved by legalizing . No more housing non violent offenders over nothing

Jerry-Deana Van Fleet
Jerry-Deana Van Fleet

Taking it out on the small boys because they can't catch the big boys. I don't believe in drugs but this is crazy!

Kevin Griffin
Kevin Griffin

Stop prohibition. Stop the senseless WAR on Drugs. Billions of $ are being wasted, Billions of lives are being ruined. You cant WIN the WAR on Drugs.

Knut Rønning
Knut Rønning

"ten years for attempting to buy $30 of heroin, which was a setup done by a female cop who asked the man to buy her some junk because she was "afraid" to do it herself" How is legal? Crazy....

Daniel Puricelli
Daniel Puricelli

Ten years for just over a quarter pound of pot. What's that like 1 plant worth? And we have to foot the bill for 3 hots and a cot.. for 10 years? And ruin some stupid kid's life?

Lance Lingle
Lance Lingle

Yeah no personal responsibility for a prior and persistent offender, you know doing it more than once and all. If you continue to light the mattress on fire you may burn the house down...you may not, but it is a risk you willingly taking and you can't blame the matches or the manufacturer or the supplier etc... I agree the sentences may be stiff but you don't have to buy crack for an undercover officer. I was asked the other day to but liquor for a minor outside a gas station...novel idea..I said "No", now he relied " man fuck you" and walked away so I guess I have no street cred anymore.

JJ O'Brand
JJ O'Brand

Guess the affluenza virus hasn't spread to MO yet? Who am I kidding, it's been here forever.

Derek Puleo
Derek Puleo

Well I do not condone the use of drugs, this is crazy.

Abbey Allred Wharton
Abbey Allred Wharton

Drug addicts don't belong in prison; they belong in rehab. Which is exactly what happens as long as you're upper middle class or above. Mandatory minimums for crack is as racist a policy as any that exists in this country.

jori.anne
jori.anne

It's a class issue. Those who are wealthy will go to rehab or pay fines. Those who are poor will go to jail.

Mike Luden
Mike Luden

It's always been like that. This is not a new problem. Been going on forever. They really should just legalize the weed. Crack and heroin should not even share the same news story. The latter 2 will make you sell your momma to get a fix!

Lanie Dattilo
Lanie Dattilo

The punishments here are too severe but crack and heroin are awful drugs. They should have some punishment, but RFT sounds like they are glorifying this. "off a groupie's thigh". REALLY? Those two drugs kill many people.

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