CLINTON — A Clinton County District Court judge has ordered a prison sentence for a drug charge to be suspended despite a recommendation of incarceration from prosecutors and contained in the pre-sentence investigation report.
Nathan T. Green, 38, 1626 Iowa Ave., appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court for sentencing for possession of a controlled substance, namely methamphetamine, third offense, a Class D felony.
Assistant Clinton County Attorney James McHugh recommended the court order Green to serve a sentence of incarceration for the drug charge. McHugh cited the recommendation contained in the PSI. McHugh stated that Green has had prior opportunities to address his issues and has failed to do so.
Defense attorney Les Blair requested the court consider granting Green probation. Blair stated Green has no history of violent crimes and there is no direct victim of his offenses. Blair stated Green has a drug problem, something Green will fight for the rest of his life. Blair stated Green needs inpatient treatment. Blair stated regardless of the sentence imposed in Clinton County District Court, Green must go to the Newton Correctional Facility eventually due to a report of a parole violation. Blair said a suspended sentence granted by the court would increase the likelihood of Newton looking at treatment rather than incarceration. Blair said that when Green is sober he is a good person and tries very hard.
District Court Judge Mark Lawson ordered a sentence not to exceed five years for possession of a controlled substance be suspended. A $750 fine was suspended. Green was placed on probation for three years. Lawson ordered Green to successfully enroll in and complete an inpatient drug program, follow up on after-care treatment and attend a weekly Narcotics Anonymous Meeting or an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting if no Narcotics Anonymous meeting is available in the Clinton area. Lawson ordered Green to pay attorney fees not to exceed $1,200.
Lawson stated factors he considered included Green’s age and prior record of drug convictions. Lawson stated he was impressed with Green’s insight into his problem. He also referenced Green’s family support and not having a tendency for property or violent crimes, stating he “doesn’t put the community at risk.” Lawson believes the sentence provides Green with the best opportunity for treatment.
According to the affidavit, an officer on June 11 conducted a traffic stop on a white Cadillac DeVille. The driver, who was identified as Green, was stopped in the 200 block of 17th Place for an improper brake light. An officer identified himself and the reason for the stop. Green stated he did not have his license on him but provided the officer with his name and date of birth. The officer also obtained the names and dates of birth for the additional two passengers.
The affidavit states dispatchers reported that Green had a possible parole violation warrant. A passenger also had two local warrants. The assisting officer detained the passenger. The other officer detained Green. The officer after detaining Green conducted a pat down for weapons. The officer felt a relatively large object in Green’s coin pocket during the pat down. The officer removed the object and observed a semi-clear, white substance in a clear plastic bag.
The affidavit states Green’s criminal history revealed drug related offenses for a controlled substance violation in Clinton County in 2002, manufacturing methamphetamine in Clinton County in 2002 and a controlled substance violation and child endangerment, methamphetamine exposure in Clinton County in 2013.