JUDGE TRAPP HANDS DOWN 45 YEAR SENTENCE TO LOCAL DRUG DEALER
Antwain Jabor Franklin
Repeat Drug Dealer Offender Sentenced to 45 Years, LIVINGSTON, January 8, 2009 - The Polk County Criminal District Attorney's Office help put a repeat offense crack dealer behind bars. On January 7, 2009, 411th District Judge Robert Hill Trapp sentenced a Livingston drug dealer to 45 years in prison. The sentence stems from April 1, 2008 when the Livingston Police Department conducted a narcotics investigation where Antwain Jabor Franklin was stopped at a residence in the 1000 block of Dunbar Street for traffic violations and was suspected of possessing a large quantity of cocaine. K-9 Narcotics Detectives from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office were called to the scene where drug dogs alerted on a vehicle belonging to Franklin’s girlfriend. Officers searched the vehicle and discovered over 300 grams of cocaine inside the vehicle. According to Livingston Police Investigator Matt Parrish, the street value of the cocaine exceeded $30,000. At the time of the offense Franklin was on parole from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a 40 year sentence he had received by a Polk County jury in 1999 for a previous cocaine delivery charge. According to Parrish, Franklin had been suspected of being a major supplier of cocaine in Polk County since his release from prison in 2007.
On May 2, 2008 a Polk County Grand Jury handed down a 1st Degree Felony Indictment against Franklin for Possession of Controlled Substance: Cocaine.
On November 3, 2008 Franklin entered a plea of guilty before Judge Trapp and elected to have Trapp assess punishment. Following a presentence investigation by the probation department, a sentencing hearing was scheduled for January 7, 2009.
During the sentencing hearing, Franklin admitted that he was a “drug dealer” and accepted responsibility for his actions.
In closing argument to the court, Polk County District Attorney Lee Hon asked the judge for a “severe punishment” given the nature of Franklin’s crime and previous criminal record. At the conclusion of the hearing, 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 stated that 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 and 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 added.
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