DOBSON — A Mount Airy man was convicted of a series of methamphetamine related charges in Superior Court on Monday.
The defendant, James Christopher Akers, 44, of Newsome Street, is serving time in a Virginia prison and appeared in court locally by means of a special writ.
Akers pleaded guilty to five counts of possession of methamphetamine, two counts of possession with intent to manufacture sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver a counterfeit controlled substance, two counts of maintaining a drug vehicle or dwelling, which are all felony violations.
He also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of simple possession of schedule II controlled substance, two counts; driving with no insurance or financial liability, two counts; five counts of simple possession of marijuana and one count each of possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license revoked for impaired driving and carrying a concealed gun.
Through a plea agreement, a single felony charge of maintaining a drug vehicle or dwelling was dismissed along with 22 misdemeanor motor vehicle and drug paraphernalia possession violations.
Akers faced charges stemming from 11 separate alleged offense dates.
Assistant District Attorney Tim Watson summarized the state’s evidence associated with seven of those dates.
“A lot of these are older cases,” Watson stated, the earliest of which occurred in 2013.
Many of Akers’s busts, which ranged from October 2013 to March 2015, seemed to go down in a similar fashion: a traffic stop led to a search by consent of the defendant, who was found in possession of controlled substances and paraphernalia for use and sale of the substances.
He was found asleep behind the wheel of his car on two occasions.
Defense Attorney Brian Royster informed Presiding Superior Court Judge A. Moses Massey that his client has been in custody for the past 15 months with a projected release date of June 2017.
“Since he has been in custody he has taken full advantage of the opportunities that the prison system will afford him,” including substance abuse treatment, Royster said.
“He felt like those gave him a great deal of insight on how to move forward with his life,” the attorney stated.
Akers has also pursued his high school equivalency, which “he does anticipate finishing,” Royster said, and works in the prison kitchen.
“He’s trying to take every opportunity to better himself,” and has a job lined up in Mount Airy when he’s released.
“He’s ready to get out and get his life back on track and make up for what he’s done in the past,” Royster said. “He knows he’s made some serious mistakes.”
Massey gave Akers an active sentence followed by several suspended sentences.
For the first of four judgments, Akers, was ordered imprisoned by the N.C. Department of Adult Corrections for eight to 19 months. That sentence is to commence upon his release in Virginia.
In a second judgment, the defendant was given a suspended 11- to 23- month sentence and placed on supervised probation for 36 months, to commence after his release in North Carolina.
In addition to the costs of courts and attorney fees, Akers was ordered to pay $1,200 in State Crime Lab fees.
He was given suspended sentences of eight to 19 months and 11 to 23 months on the remaining two judgments and placed on supervised probation for 366 months.
If Akers tests positive or is found in possession of a controlled or impairing substance an order for arrest is to be issued with a $100,000 minimum secured bond.
Massey challenged the defendant to treat society – and himself – better in the future.
“You’re not a garbage can, sir, you’re a valuable human being,” the judge said. “Using meth is a great way to commit suicide by degree.”
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.