Man pleads guilty in meth case

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A Craig man arrested in December's methamphetamine sweep pleaded guilty this week to felony meth possession.

Troy Neal, 35, accepted a plea deal Tuesday from prosecutors.

In exchange for the guilty plea to meth possession, prosecutors dropped a meth distribution charge against Neal.

Terms of Neal's sentence will be left up to a judge. He will be sentenced in July.

Deputy District Attorney Andy Heyl said a judge could sentence Neal to between two and six years in prison for the felony.

Heyl said it was too early for him to say what sentence he would ask the judge to hand down.

Judges typically consider comments from the prosecution and defense and the results of a pre-sentencing investigation completed by probation officers before handing down a sentence.

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

Police said they have evidence that all 15 people sold meth to informants.

Neal also was charged with theft and forgery from incidents that prosecutors say happened in 2003.

Prosecutors dismissed the theft and forgery charges last week to avoid a trial in those cases.

Heyl said the deal that Neal accepted Tuesday stipulated that he pay restitution of about $500 in the forgery and theft cases, even though the charges were dropped.

Neal pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him in February, but has since reconsidered and accepted a deal from prosecutors.

Also at Tuesday's hearing, Judge Michael O'Hara lowered Neal's bond from $50,000 to $5,000.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Neal, who has been in Moffat County Jail since his arrest in December, had not posted bond.

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