Atkinson pleads guilty

CLINTON — A DeWitt man has pleaded guilty to a felony drug charge.

Terry L. Atkinson, 45, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court and pleaded guilty to possession of precursors to manufacture a controlled substance, a Class D felony. The State will support the recommendation of the pre-sentence investigation report.

The plea is an open plea and the court is not bound by the State’s recommendations. The State will seek enhancement as a habitual offender as originally charged. Atkinson will be responsible for restitution resulting from all counts alleged in the trial information. Sentencing is set for 10 a.m. Sept. 27.

According to the affidavit, at 7:38 p.m. Jan. 22, an officer observed a vehicle heading west on U.S. 30 and traveling 76 miles per hour in a 65 mile per hour speed zone. An officer conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle at 7:40 p.m. on the off ramp from westbound U.S. 30 to northbound Sixth Avenue South in DeWitt. Atkinson, the driver, informed the officer he was on parole for methamphetamine. The officer observed a dark blue backpack behind the front passenger seat on the rear floorboard of the vehicle. Atkinson told the officer a change of clothes was in the backpack, stating he just left a funeral in Clinton.

An officer confirmed Atkinson was on parole and asked him for consent to search the vehicle, which Atkinson granted. Atkinson told the officer there were needles in the backpack that belonged to his grandfather, who just died. There was one-third of a bottle of rum under the driver’s seat. An officer located a roll of aluminum foil next to the backpack while searching the passenger side area. The officer located several items commonly used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine while searching the backpack. Atkinson stated he did not know the items were precursors for manufacturing methamphetamine. He said he was just carrying them around until he found a place to throw them away.

“A criminal history check showed Atkinson has prior convictions for possession of precursors to methamphetamine and manufacturing of methamphetamine, showing he likely knew they were precursors,” the affidavit states.