One area man was sentenced to a total of 12 years on two felony charges dating from 2017. The state, represented by Assistant District Attorney Heather Cooper, recommended the maximum sentence for a misdemeanor paraphernalia charge included with Thursday’s charges and 10 years for each felony charge to be served consecutively.
Mario Martin Cruz, of Ardmore, pled guilty Thursday to unlawful possession of methamphetamine, a controlled dangerous substance, and to violation of a protective order. Cruz, represented by attorney Melanie Blackburn, admitted to the violation of the protective order, referring to his initial statement that he did not intentionally violate the order, but that he had dropped off his grandchildren and then ran out of gas.
Regarding the methamphetamine charge, Cruz’s attorney acknowledged his previous felony convictions and pointed out that while he had multiple felonies, he had no felony convictions for drug-related offenses. Blackburn requested minimum sentencing requirements to be served concurrently with credit for time served.
After considering Cruz’s history and other factors, Associate District Judge Thomas Baldwin sentenced Cruz to 3 years for the violation of the protective order and 9 years for the methamphetamine conviction. Cruz was also ordered to pay court costs and a total of $2,750 in fees. Baldwin ordered credit for time served and for Cruz to be required to register under the Oklahoma Methamphetamine Offender Registry Act. That act is under Title 63 of Oklahoma statute and requires those who are convicted of or plead guilty to crimes related to possession, manufacturing, or distributing methamphetamine or its precursors to register with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. Those required to register may not possess any component to make methamphetamine even with a prescription for pharmaceuticals including those components without risk of possible additional felony charges for such possession.