Sentencing in drug case
Posted by Kylie (+26) 15 years ago
Man sentenced in pot case
By Gazette News Services

A Miles City man who bought and sold marijuana from a longtime drug dealer will spend five years on federal probation with six months of house arrest.

U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull last week sentenced Craig Dalakow, 46, to the term after he pleaded guilty earlier to conspiracy to possess marijuana for distribution.

Prosecutors said Dalakow conspired with others, including Jeffrey E. Mitchell, to distribute an estimated 220 pounds of marijuana over 15 years starting in 1990. Mitchell, also of Miles City, was convicted of trafficking marijuana to 20 to 25 people. Known as the "go-to guy" for marijuana in Miles City, Mitchell was sentenced in July 2006 to 5 1/2 years in federal prison.





Am I the only one who thinks the sentencing should have been harder?
What are your thoughts?
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Posted by Matt Smith (+796) 15 years ago
Your not the only one.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+18248) 15 years ago
Because I believe that marijuana should be legalized, I find the sentence to be kind of harsh. But I guess it is reasonable, considering the current state of the laws in this country.

If anything, the real crime is the shoddy quality of marijuana that has been available to Miles City all those years. Brown, seedy, stemmy, low THC content...basically Mexican garbage. Not that I know anything about it - this is what I have been told in the taverns when I come to town.
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Posted by Nancy Wallick (+68) 15 years ago
Have either of them had past convictions? 5 years in a federal pen is a long time. Jeff Mitchell went to High School with me. He was a nice guy back then. I haven't heard his name until now though.
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Posted by Lisa (Erdman) Halvorson (+32) 15 years ago
Probably not so long a time. I really don't think prison time scares people the way it used to. Shoot you get 3 squares a day, some time to exercise and work on a degree for free (I think) and you get all of the drugs you want on the inside because the system is so corrupt. there are those who try to better themselves but a majority just really don't care and are not afraid of the system.
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Posted by Amber (+224) 15 years ago
I'm a little baffled by this sentencing. Approxiatley a year ago, another person was busted with 2lbs of marajuanna, who shall remain nameless. Sentencing outcome: 2-five year prison sentences, defferred, $500 fine, convicted in district court. Then in Craig Dalakow's case: $100 court cost, six months house arrest, 5 years probation, federally convicted. Tell me what is wrong with this picture. Approximately 220lbs over 15 years vs. 2 lbs at one particular time, no actual time sentenced vs 10 years deffered, $100 court cost vs. $500 fine. My thoughts: why is someone that conspired to sell marajuanna in this town for 15years cut a break and a "small timer" handed a way harsher sentence?
I'm not promoting in any way the sale of illegal drugs on any level, but this does raise some eyebrows.
Any thoughts???

[This message has been edited by Amber (edited 8/14/2007).]
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Posted by Kylie (+26) 15 years ago
We all know that Craig has been on probation before...that "should" factor in also...obviously NOT to his favor.
I just think that someone like this, who is a MAJOR distributor, should have a harsher sentence.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 15 years ago
5 1/2 years seems pretty reasonable to me if it was just weed. If it was hard drugs and he was a "regional distributor" he should go away for a long time, but 5 years is plenty for pot IMO. I also believe that it should be legalized, although I don't smoke it and never have.
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Posted by deer_slayer (+488) 15 years ago
First off let it be said the Delakow had the greatest mullet in the history of humanity before he cut it off. One can only hope that he will grow it back while he is under house arrest.

Second, 5 years isn't too bad for 15 years of dealing an illegal substance. I wonder if he would have gotten a longer sentence for selling meth? How much cash did he make in 15 years?

Third, 15 years of dealing pot, should tell everyone a couple of things...1) a lot of people in Miles City smoke grass. Get over it. 2) a lot of people knew Mitchell was selling pot and didn't care.

Finally, I'd bet that there is already someone else who has moved in to take his place. Maybe more than one guy. Chances are they are going to be selling more than just "Mexican dirt weed." Chances are they be selling meth or even some of that "high grade Texas Tornado". So I wonder, would you rather have the new guy in town with whatever he is bringing to the table (guns, smack, meth)? Or keep Mitchell around, who dealt only in grass, and from the sounds of it....harmless grass at that?
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Posted by Kylie (+26) 15 years ago
Just pot? I really don't like that statement because a drug is a drug...yes some are weaker than others, however, ALL drugs....legal or not can impair judgement. I agree that pot can ease pain for cancer patients and so forth and have no problem having it legalized.
5 years probation to me would be fine IF it were the first offense but we all know it is not.
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Posted by Kylie (+26) 15 years ago
Ok, the mullet comment is funny but in some weird way, true!
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Posted by Bob L. (+5096) 15 years ago
For more great mullet action:

http://www.mulletsgalore.com/
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Posted by William S. (+73) 15 years ago
Can anyone say "informant"?
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Posted by Kylie (+26) 15 years ago
To William...RIGHT?!
Thats what I thought too.

Ok,the mullet site is just WRONG!

[This message has been edited by Kylie (edited 8/14/2007).]
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 15 years ago
I disagree that a drug is a drug. Does pot impair judgment? Sure. But no more (probably less) than MC's most popular drug among kids and adults (alcohol). Compared to Meth, Coke, or Heroin it's not even in the same ballpark with regard to addiction, what it does to your body, and what it does to your life.

Oh and I didn't read the original post very well. I thought he was going to jail for 5 years. Probation for 5 years does seem kind of light if he had really been doing it as long as people claim and at that scale.

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (edited 8/14/2007).]
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Posted by Kylie (+26) 15 years ago
Hense the statement "some are weaker than others"....
Pot may be weaker than most drugs yes...but it still impairs judgement, it still drains you financially and it still is addictive....so yes..a drug is a drug....
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+18248) 15 years ago
Somehow I doubt anyone can become addicted to Miles City ditchweed...unless it is possible that paraquat addiction can be a side affect.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 15 years ago
So Kylie, do you advocate making alcohol illegal? It is a drug as well, and much more addictive than Marijuana, while also fulfilling your other criteria.

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (edited 8/14/2007).]
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Posted by Kylie (+26) 15 years ago
Of course not....I would no longer be able to enjoy my football games or have my relaxing glass of wine or two each evening....
I also stated that I believe pot should be legalized for cancer patients etc.

The whole point of this discussion was to discuss the sentencing behind someone who was dealing pot for so long with prior convictions. Not "do you think that every drug out there should be illegal?"
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 15 years ago
I think that is what we were talking about. I said that pot doesn't deserve as harsh a punishment as hard drugs. IMO pot is less dangerous than alcohol, and just like you like to drink beer and watch the game, some people like to smoke pot and watch the game. What's the harm in it? Sure you can use it irresponsibly just like you can alcohol, but it's not in the same class as life-destroying drugs like crack or heroin. I've never heard of someone living on the street due to their pot habit. I personally know of a lot of lives that have been ruined by alcohol, none that have been ruined by pot.

As I said I think that it should be legal, but there's no way it should carry as stiff a punishment as hard drugs even it if it's not legal.
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Posted by Amber (+224) 15 years ago
I think the point being is not the harshness of the drug, but the punishment for a multi-offender. I think that no matter what, somebody will be bringing in the drugs for either recreation or income reasons. Whether it's old school that have been doing it for years or the new punks trying to be cool, it's still going to wind up in the hands of people all over town. I agree that the sentence should be lighter for those bringing in pot compared to those bringing in or manufacturing meth. but why should one pot dealer recieve a lighter sentence then another, especially when the time frame and amount dealt is substantially greater?
I just want to say "Amen" to william.....informant is very likely.
What happen to you do the crime you, you do the time.

[This message has been edited by Amber (edited 8/14/2007).]
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2165) 15 years ago
Possibly the lighter sentence of probation and house arrest was for his testimony against Mitchell and others?
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3714) 15 years ago
I don't know the guy, but if he was just a harmless old pothead making a living as opposed to a violent thug trying to get rich that probably makes a difference, or maybe he fingered his supplier or someone else as others have suggested.

On a side note, there was an interesting story about a San Francisco pot dealer in the paper a few months ago:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi...thejob.DTL

While it might not be strictly "fair", it's probably safe to assume that this person is not nearly as big a threat to society as the guy down on the street corner with the AK-47 in his trunk, even if they are technically doing the same thing.
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