A Tom Bean man was sentenced to two life sentences in prison this week on drug charges.
A release from the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office says that Mickey Joe Griffis, 65, was sentenced to two life sentences in prison for possession with intent to deliver, heroin, 1 to 4 grams and possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine, 4 to 200 grams.
Griffis’ attorney Ron Uselton said he doesn’t believe there was sufficient evidence during the trial to prove that his client was dealing drugs and they plan to appeal the conviction within the next 30 days.
A jury convicted Griffis following a one-and-a-half-day jury trial. Griffis elected to go to that jury for his sentence and they sentenced him to the maximum sentence allowed by law on both counts and the fine of $7,000 on each charge. Judge Jim Fallon presided over the three-day trial in the 15th Judicial District Court.
The release said the case began when narcotics investigators with the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office began conducting surveillance on a residence in Tom Bean on Jan. 13.
“The surveillance led to the development of sufficient information for a search warrant. Later the same day, a large team of law enforcement officers executed the search warrant at 106 Bois D’Arc and recovered a large cache of drug paraphernalia, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and (three) firearms. The Sheriff’s Office had information that Griffis was a convicted felon and could be armed,” the release said.
During the trial the Grayson County District Attorney’s Office presented evidence seized from the residence which included hundreds of small baggies used to package narcotics, syringes, pipes, a digital scale, and several grams of heroin and over a half ounce of methamphetamine.
“We presented evidence and testimony which clearly led the jury to believe the defendant was involved in the distribution of narcotics and was armed with a rifle, pistol and a .12-gauge shotgun while dealing his drugs,” said Assistant District Attorney Brett Smith.
During the punishment portion of the trial, Smith presented evidence to the jury that Griffis had six previous felony convictions, and four of those cases were for drug-related offenses. The jury learned that Griffis had twice previously been sentenced to prison for drug offenses.
“The long sentence was, I believe, a result of the fact that this man just continued to deal drugs, and short prison sentences were not keeping him from doing that,” said Grayson County District Attorney Joe Brown in the release. “At some point, people just get tired of drug dealers who keep selling drugs and do not get the message. The system gives people resources to deal with addiction, but when you are selling, it is a different ballgame.”
Smith was assisted with the case by Paralegal Sherri Williams.