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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Leavenworth man sentenced to 6.5 years for drug charges

  • A Leavenworth man has been sentenced to 6.5 years in prison for multiple drug charges.
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  • A Leavenworth man has been sentenced to 6.5 years in prison for multiple drug charges.
    Benny R. Bush III, 33, was sentenced Friday in Leavenworth County District Court for one count of distribution of hydrocodone within 1,000 feet of a school, two counts of distribution of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, and one count of possessing marijuana without having the proper Kansas drug tax stamp affixed to it.
    In May 2012, the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office used a confidential informant to make multiple purchases of drugs from Bush. Bush reportedly sold the drugs from his home, which is within 1,000 feet from Earl M. Lawson Elementary School.
    Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant May 24, 2012, at Bush's residence. They reportedly found a large amount of marijuana, cash, ammunition and several bottles containing prescription medication.
    Bush was convicted of the charges in June.
    Bush's attorney, Amy Ahrens, argued Friday for the judge to either set aside the jury's verdict and acquit her client or grant a new trial.
    District Judge Gunnar Sundby denied the motion.
    Bush was classified as having a criminal history score of A, the worst possible criminal history score under Kansas sentencing guidelines.
    Assistant County Attorney Christopher Scott, who prosecuted the case, recommended a lengthier sentence Friday than the one ultimately imposed. He asked that sentences for each of the five charges run consecutive.
    Sundby ordered the sentences to run concurrent, which means Bush will serve the sentences at the same time.
    When arguing for consecutive sentences, Scott said Bush has a long history of criminal convictions.
    The prosecutor said this case marked the first drug distribution convictions for Bush, but the defendant had a litany of other convictions.
    "Where does it end?" Scott said.
    He argued that Bush was a threat to the community.
    Ahrens asked Sundby to depart from what was considered the standard sentence and grant probation or a reduced sentence.
    She argued much of Bush's criminal history was based on juvenile cases. And, until the drug case, he hadn't been convicted of a felony in Leavenworth County since 2002.
    Ahrens said Bush is now the father of several children.
    "This case has been an eye opener to him," she said.
    She said this is the most serious case he's had since his children have been born.
    Ahrens said Bush has taken responsibility for some of the actions for which he was convicted and sought treatment and counseling.
    Bush was given the opportunity to speak Friday.
    Page 2 of 2 - "I am not a danger to the community," he said.
    He admitting to using and possessing marijuana but denied distributing drugs.
    "I am not a drug dealer," he said.
    Bush argued he can become a productive member of society.
    Bush's mother also addressed the judge and asked for leniency for her son.
    Sundby said Ahrens argued many points, and he considered all of them. But, he was not persuaded to grant probation or impose a reduced sentence.
    Sundby imposed the standard prison sentence for each charge and ordered them to run concurrent. This means he will have to serve a 78-month, or 6.5-year prison sentence.

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