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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Drug cases result in four-year sentence

  • A Lansing man was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison for selling drugs in Leavenworth.
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  • A Lansing man was sentenced Wednesday to more than four years in prison for selling drugs in Leavenworth.
    Joel M. Lemke, 35, was sentenced in Leavenworth County District Court to a total of 52 months in two cases.
    In one case, he was sentenced for distribution of oxycodone. That crime occurred in July 2010.
    In the other case, Lemke was sentenced for distribution of morphine. That crime occurred in October of last year.
    He pleaded no contest to the charges last month.
    Lemke's attorney, Michael Highland, sought to have his client placed on probation and entered into a drug treatment program.
    But Assistant County Attorney Michael Jones said Wednesday that the prosecution was opposed to a defense motion for a departure in sentencing. Jones noted that both cases involved the distribution of drugs.
    "There's no indication that Mr. Lemke is going to stop selling these pills," Jones said.
    The prosecutor recommended a standard sentence of 56 months. He said probation would not be in the community's best interest.
    Highland said his client needed help through drug treatment.
    "He should at least get one shot at it," he said.
    When given the opportunity to speak, Lemke said he's had a problem with addiction to opiate drugs for six years but he's been clean for 10 months.
    "I miss my family," said Lemke, who was in custody at the time of his sentencing.
    Lemke's father also spoke during the sentencing, asking the judge to grant the defense motion.
    When imposing the sentence, District Judge Gunnar Sundby said the proverb "a day late and a dollar short" applies in the case.
    Sundby said Lemke had done nothing after the 2010 case was filed to deal with his drug abuse problem.
    "Instead what you did was you continued to sell more drugs," the judge said.
    Sundby gave Lemke a mitigated sentence of 52 months, citing the defendant's age and the fact that he had resolved the case.

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