Man appears on charges he traded pot for a soda


A Craig man appeared in court Tuesday on charges that he tried to trade marijuana for a soft drink at a convenience store.
The defendant, Ryan Milner, 22, waived his preliminary hearing. The case was bound over to Moffat County District Court for a July arraignment.
Milner was arrested on a warrant police obtained after they were called by a clerk at the North Kum & Go. The alleged incident took place close to midnight April 22.
Milner entered the store to refill a soda, according to court documents. When paying for the drink, Milner allegedly handed the clerk a baggie of marijuana and about 20 cents in change.
The green, leafy substance weighed about three grams and yielded a positive result for marijuana when it was field tested, according to court documents.
The 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office charged Milner with distribution of marijuana, a Class 4 felony, and violation of bail bond conditions, a Class 6 felony.
In addition, the District Attorney's Office added a "sentence enhancer" to the list of charges.
It accuses Milner of being a "special offender," and distributing drugs on school grounds, since the Kum & Go is closer than 1,000 feet to Craig Middle School. It carries a mandatory minimum sentence of eight years in prison to a maximum of 25 years.
Milner's attorney, Erick Nordstrom, said the sentence enhancer is an inappropriate application of the law.
The allegation technically fits the statute because of the store's proximity to the school. But Nordstrom argues that trading a small amount of marijuana for a soft drink in the middle of the night is not a crime the statute was designed to punish.
Nordstrom said he's still reviewing the facts of the case. But even if the allegation were to be true, "I don't think this is the conduct the Legislature had in mind," he said.

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