Felony pot charge filed
A misdemeanor traffic case became a felony because a prior conviction had not been reported to the Department of Transportation.
Garric E. Roberts, 31, is charged with felony operating with a controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Roberts faces up to six years in prison if convicted of felony operating with a controlled substance.
On the night of Jan. 26, Waupaca Police Sgt. Mario Graceffa stopped a vehicle on Royalton Street near Churchill Street in Waupaca.
While speaking with the driver, Graceffa smelled burnt marijuana, according to the criminal complaint.
As Graceffa was issuing citations for not wearing a seat belt and not having car insurance, Waupaca County Deputy James Santiago arrived with his K-9 partner, Cuda.
Cuda sniffed the vehicle and alerted for the presence of drugs.
Roberts then said he “had a couple of puffs” before work around noon, then smoked some pot in his car at 7 p.m., more than 90 minutes prior to driving.
A small amount of marijuana and a pipe were found behind the glove box beneath the dash.
Roberts was released from custody on a $2,000 signature bond.
On May 2, Roberts was initially charged with a misdemeanor for this same alleged offense.
However, prosecutors discovered that a prior conviction for operating with a controlled substance had not been reported to the DOT.
On Feb. 16, 2009, Roberts was convicted of operating with a controlled substance.
Due to two prior drunken driving offenses, it was Roberts third conviction for driving under the influence and a misdemeanor.
He was sentenced to 30 days in jail.
Roberts appealed the conviction, but lost.
A fourth offense of driving under the influence is a felony.
The 2009 conviction stemmed from a traffic stop on Jan. 27, 2008.
During the stop, Deputy Kevin Studzinski handcuffed Roberts and placed him in the back of his squad car while he conducted a search of Robert’s vehicle.
When Studzinski returned to his squad car, he found the plexiglass partition between the front and back seats was damaged and radio wires pulled out, causing the communications radio to not work. Speakers to a laptop were also broken.
A charge of criminal damage to property was dismissed but read into the court record for sentencing purposes.
Judge Philip Kirk ordered Roberts to pay nearly $162 in restitution to Studzinski and to the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office.