"We Support Ron Paul!" How Brother and Sister Pot Growers Got Really Long Prison Sentences

potted_weed_plants.JPG
Cannabis Training University
Just a few plants can get you a lot of years.
When brother and sister David and Natalie DePriest got busted last October for growing 17 marijuana plants in their Farmington home, they told police that there was no reason they should be arrested. After all, weed will soon be legal everywhere. Also, they supported Ron Paul.

But that argument didn't fly with the police, so they were arrested. And after a trial in which the DePriests were found guilty on charges of marijuana cultivation and trafficking, their statements to police were brought up again and Judge Kenneth Pratte took them into consideration. These were people who clearly believed they did nothing wrong and had no respect for Missouri law.

David DePriest,34, who also had an illegal gun, was sentenced to 22 years. His sister Natalie, 36, was given 15 years. David's only prior crime was in 1999, when he got a misdemeanor drug charge while serving in the military, for which he was dishonorably discharged. Natalie's only prior crime was writing a bad check.

The lengthy prison sentences for nonviolent, first-time offenders will surprise many. Even more surprising is that the DePriests gave up a chance to get only four months in jail and a few years of probation.

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

"There were multiple offers made that would have had them released in 120 days," Jerrod Mahurin, the St. Francois County prosecutor, tells Daily RFT. "But they felt that marijuana should not be illegal and will be legal soon, so they refused. I don't know if it will ever be legal in Missouri, but in this case I have to follow the law."

ron_paul_coongress_photo.jpg
U.S. Congress
Don't bring up your Ron Paul vote during your marijuana growing trial.

The Depriests' attorney, Dan Viets, who is also one of Missouri's top marijuana reform activists who heads the state's NORML committee and is chairman of Show-Me Cannabis, says his clients believed they could be let off with just probation and no prison time if they turned down the plea deal and took their chances with the judge.

"That's what they chose to do," he says.

The DePriests made the gamble despite Mahurin promising to seek the maximum sentence if they had to go to argue for a sentence in front of the judge. And if he had to do that, other evidence would be brought in, such as the bulletproof vest and ledgers with numbers that looked like marijuana sales. Those objects weren't illegal, but could serve as evidence, he warned, and wouldn't do the DePriests any favors.

The gamble didn't pay off: after both sides presented their case, with Viets asking for probation for his clients and Mahurin asking for more than 30 years behind bars, Judge Pratte ruled with little sympathy.

Click on the next page to read more about the DePriests' botanical crimes...


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28 comments
martman111
martman111

 i wonder if they would have sentenced one of there own family members to 15 or 22 years for growing a plant...this sounds like communism or something saddam hussein would do...its no joke when the courts can take 20 yrs of your life for nothing...be careful jwalking you might get ten years...what a joke your legal system is if they are getting away with stuff like this...You all better hope and pray that these judges and prosecutors dont get mad at you for cutting them off in traffic or looking at them the wrong way you might get 20 years in jail to think about it and meanwhile some child molestor will get probation and a counselor...what bullshit


Daniel Elder
Daniel Elder

I don't care for how this article portrays the DePriests as people to be basically written off because they supported Ron Paul.

Sara Lyerla
Sara Lyerla

She should have never had another baby, after losing her other ones. Why is birth control such a hard ckncept to grasp???

Daren Cortez
Daren Cortez

Sucks they got long stretches. They had an easy deal.... They refused..... They got broke off. They knowingly broke the law & challenged it. Dumb asses.

Trish R Bertrand
Trish R Bertrand

According to the politicians no one is in prison for weed...

Bart Cohn
Bart Cohn

They were offered months for a plea and then sentenced to 15 and 22 years respectively? That's completely absurd, the prosecutor and judge are evil, I hope life treats them as they have treated others.

dalediversity
dalediversity topcommenter

They weren't given long sentences for the pot, they were given long sentences for being Paultards. Well done judge! There's a price for being stupid.

Daniel Elder
Daniel Elder

That judge is a shining example of why our prisons are filled with non-violent offenders. I hope everyone that reads this writes, calls, emails, or speaks to him in person to get him to relent. This story is incredibly depressing.

Thomas Babilon
Thomas Babilon

Some judges punish you for going to trial. It is an evil practice, but it keeps their trial calenders light.

Thomas Babilon
Thomas Babilon

It is a travesty anyway, but who will get probation while these two sit in jail. That is a bigger crime.

Thomas Babilon
Thomas Babilon

Comming from a place where murderers are likely to get les than 20 years and '(minors much less). this is a travesty.

Kelly Owens
Kelly Owens

Seems like this article was wrote to make them and anyone who supported Ron Paul out to be idiots. Not cool.

castanedahector26
castanedahector26

But Rape a child and get 3-6 years?????/ isn't something wrong withthis picture???/ Shouldn't these folks get life?????? I would much rather pay taxs to keep molesters and people who rape/kill in prison . Gotta changed this

Tiffany Newtson
Tiffany Newtson

Great. Now Missouri can now spend upwards of $800,000 to house these people as inmates because 1. they have no common sense and 2. the prosecution felt like being jerks.

Adam Usher
Adam Usher

Longer prison sentence than murderers, makes sense.

suetoo
suetoo

This sounds even worse when you compare it to a recent story on one of the inside pages on the Post Dispatch where a guy was recently killed in his yard, only 2 years after he was convicted because he shot someone in a fast food holdup.

jaco1175
jaco1175 topcommenter

Pot should be legal. That being said Ron Paul (as well as his bad rug wearing son Rand) is a narcissist fuckhead and the people who think he is fucking god are anarchistic sycophantic loons. A bunch of self centered sociopath fuckwads, their vision for society (lack of society) is no world I want to live in. Libertarianism is nothing more than a trendy little fad promoted by douchbag hipsters who want to be stoned all the time as well as antisocial crazed right wing backwoods cabin inhabiting chicken fuckers with a sick gun fetish. Fuck all of these clowns, they give honest pot smokers a bad name.

Tim Garner
Tim Garner

Smoked so much marijuana they became stupid.

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

Ouch..Supporting one person will do nothing..Just bend over and take it we all do...

Jeff Slinkard
Jeff Slinkard

.......sometimes you got to know when to say Uncle

Charles Forsythe
Charles Forsythe

These people sounds like loons, but I'm not sure anyone's interests are served by convicting them of a crime and locking them up.

Desert-Rae Seidelman
Desert-Rae Seidelman

Leave Ron Paul out of this. Stupid ppl are the ones that make decent Ron Paul supporters look bad. Someone always have to ruin it for everyone else.

Nathan Butler
Nathan Butler

They'll be out sooner than that if Viets is successful getting it legalized. Then it's EASY to get voters to change laws regarding previous convictions. When Michelle Freaking Malkin supports legalization, change is in the wind.

carlfiller
carlfiller

So they were not "first time offenders" as she wrote bad checks... and the guy had a illegal firearm? And despite that they could have done only 120 days? Sounds like this is on their heads. So when you ask, "why so many years," you should probably look to your own article for the answer as it seems pretty clearly explained.

Person
Person

"Stupid ppl are the ones that make decent Ron Paul supporters look bad."


Decent my ass. Ron Paul supporters make *themselves* look bad by championing a guy who:


-supports new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans

-supports new tax cuts for corporations

-supports ending Medicare & gutting Social Security

-opposes ending tax breaks for Big Oil

-opposes ending tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas

-staunchly pro-life and supports the criminalization of abortion

-supported the Defense of Marriage Act & co-sponsored the Marriage Protection Act

-against universal healthcare

-thinks global warming is a hoax & doesn’t support any industry regulations to prevent pollution & greenhouse gas emissions

-voted against affirmative action, opposed the Civil Rights Act, opposed the renewal of the Voting Rights Act, and distributed racist newsletters

-worships that knucklehead Ayn Rand

-supports states' rights to a degree that would make the U.S. look like one big retarded Civil War reenactment



Ron Paul is a regressive, loony-bin troll.

mandarinman
mandarinman

@carlfiller 120 days to 22 years doesn't seem like a big enough difference worthy of questioning?

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