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Drug dealer claims good motives, judge differs

Exponent Telegram photo  Maurice Garrison
Exponent Telegram photo
Maurice Garrison

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A millennia ago, Robin Hood was (at least supposedly) an outlaw whose misdeeds were in the name of the greater good.

Drug dealer Maurice Lamar Garrison sees his crimes in much the same light: The $20,000 a week he told a probation officer he made by marketing narcotics went to his family and others in need, he insisted during his sentencing hearing Thursday in Harrison County Circuit Court.

Garrison, 33, of Clarksburg, at first asked Chief Judge Thomas A. Bedell to impose concurrent sentences on the convictions for possession with intent to deliver heroin and possession with intent to deliver hydrocodone. But by the end of his allocution, Garrison told the court that “I really do feel like I deserve alternative sentencing.”

Bedell ended up imposing the consecutive sentences sought by Assistant Prosecutor Laura Pickens, which add up to a total prison term of 2 to 20 years. Garrison gets credit for having spent much of the past year in jail pending prosecution.

Bedell, a judge for 23 years, gave Garrison as much time as he wanted to explain his view of the case.

Garrison at first apologized “to everyone.”

He added that he came to West Virginia after getting out of prison in Florida in 2009.

“Even though a lot of people might look at me as a scumbag … everybody don’t look at me like that…

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