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Stories Added - January 2009
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Franklin sentenced to 45 years for cocaine delivery
Polk County Enterprise - January 2009
LIVINGSTON — Antwain Jabor Franklin is awaiting transfer to the state prison system with essentially a 77-year sentence for delivery of a controlled substance Wednesday. Judge Robert Hill Trapp sentenced Franklin to 45 years in connection with an April 1, 2008 arrest when narcotics detectives found him in possession of more than 300 grams of cocaine. That sentence will begin after Franklin completes a prior sentence of 40 years by a Polk County jury in 1999 for delivery of cocaine. During testimony during the sentencing held in the 411th District Court Wednesday, evidence presented showed Franklin had been arrested during a narcotics investigation by Livingston Police Department on April 1, 2008, according to a statement released by District Attorney Lee Hon. Livingston Police Offi cers Marty Drake and Chad Ward stopped Franklin in the 1000 block of Dunbar Street for traffi c violations April 1 after Lt. Matt Parrish received information that Franklin would be carrying a large quantity of cocaine. After Drake and Ward stopped Franklin’s vehicle they were joined by narcotics detectives from the Polk County Sheriff’s Offi ce and drug-sniffi ng dogs as well as Lt. Parrish and Sgt. Leon Middleton. Drug dogs detected narcotics in a vehicle parked at that location belonging to Franklin’s girlfriend. Offi cers searched the vehicle and found more then 300 grams of cocaine inside the vehicle. Parrish, who was working as an investigator for LPD at the time, testifi ed that the street value of the crack cocaine cookies found was more than $30,000. At the time of the arrest, F r a n k l i n was on parole from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a 40-year sentence by a Polk County jury in 1999 for delivery of cocaine. Parrish also said that Franklin was suspected of being a major cocaine supplier in Polk County since his release from prison in 2007. A Polk County grand jury handed up a fi rst degree felony indictment for possession of a controlled substance — cocaine May 2, 2008. Franklin pleaded guilty before Judge Trapp on Nov. 3, 2008 and chose to have Trapp assess punishment. The probation department conducted a presentence investigation and a sentencing hearing was set for Jan. 7. During the sentencing hearing, Franklin admitted that he was a “drug dealer” and accepted responsibility for his actions. In closing argument to the court, Hon asked the judge for a severe punishment given the nature of Franklin’s crime and previous criminal record. Trapp ordered that Franklin be sentenced to 45 years in prison, and further ordered that the sentence be stacked onto Franklin’s prior 40-year sentence resulting in his immediate return to prison. According to Hon, under Texas law, because Franklin was on parole for the prior offense, Texas law allowed the judge to order the sentences be served consecutively meaning Franklin “is essentially facing a 77-year sentence.” Afterward, Hon said he was extremely pleased with the judge’s decision and commended the Livingston Police Department and Polk County Sheriff’s Department on their investigation of this case. “This is a major blow to the cocaine distribution network in Polk County,” Hon said. “This sentence will hopefully send a message that the law enforcement community in Polk County will aggressively pursue drug dealers and hold them accountable for the damage they are doing to people’s lives in this county,” Hon said.