Fairbanks man gets three years in prison in drug case

Posted: Thursday, September 20, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- A Fairbanks man who allegedly tried to sell cocaine to members of the armed forces has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Marquez Pennington, 21, was arrested in April and charged with four counts of third-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance. He was accused of selling cocaine to undercover officers on three occasions in February and April.

In June, Pennington agreed to plead no contest to a reduced charge of third-degree conspiracy to deliver cocaine, with the rest of the charges being dismissed. Monday's sentencing was part of the agreement.

The first incident took place Feb. 7 when Pennington allegedly sold 2.6 grams of cocaine to an undercover informant while in the presence of an Army Criminal Investigations Division investigator, according to the criminal complaint.

A week later, Pennington allegedly sold 5.8 grams of cocaine directly to the investigator. In the third alleged incident, he sold cocaine to the informant in early April.

Pennington was arrested after the third sale, and officers reportedly found nine other one-gram bags of suspected cocaine in his possession.

The military became involved in the case after Pennington allegedly tried to make sales to members of the armed forces.

During Monday's sentencing hearing, Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Mary Greene noted that one of the drug deals took place on the same day that Pennington was sentenced for a charge of cocaine possession, the result of a May 2000 incident. He was given a one-year suspended sentence for that offense. As a result of the drug sales charges that sentence was revoked and replaced with an 18-month jail sentence, all of which was suspended.

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