Probation for meth defendant

A judge on Tuesday sentenced one of the defendants from December's methamphetamine sweep to three years of probation.

Steven James Wick, 29, of Craig, pleaded guilty in March to attempted dis--tribution of meth, a felony.

Wick was one of 15 people arrested on meth distribution and possession charges in December in one of the biggest drug sweeps in Moffat County history.

Wick, who had been in jail since his arrest in December, posted bail and was released after he pleaded guilty in March.

Citing that this was Wick's first felony conviction and that he is seeking drug treatment, Chief Judge Michael O'Hara sentenced Wick to probation.

Deputy District Attorney Andy Heyl asked O'Hara to sentence Wick to prison.

"I don't think a straight probationary sentence is appropriate," Heyl said.

Heyl pointed out that since his release from jail in March, Wick did not take one of his court-ordered drug tests.

"I can only assume ... he did not feel he could pass the test on that day," Heyl said.

Wick said he didn't take the test because he didn't have the $15 required to take it. His lawyer, Randall Salky, pointed out that Wick passed tests before and after the one he missed.

In asking the judge to sentence him to probation and not prison, Wick said he has a full-time job and is participating in a relapse prevention program.

"I feel at this present time, very clear headed," Wick said.

O'Hara said deciding between prison and probation was not an easy decision.

"Meth is causing so many problems in this community," O'Hara said.

But unlike other defendants, Wick doesn't have a prior record and has worked to turn his life around since his release, O'Hara said.

"You're basically doing everything right," O'Hara said.

It also helps that Wick has the support of his family, O'Hara said.

"It is so difficult to overcome this addiction without help," O'Hara said. "Family is a big part of that."

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