(Delmarvanow.com) -- A man who a judge called “a revolving door of trouble” was sentenced to 20 years in prison on drugs and firearms charges.
Kerry D. Martin of Lynchburg, Virginia, pleaded guilty in Northampton County court to possession of illegal drugs, intent to distribute those drugs, possession of a firearm with those drugs and possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a felony.
At his sentencing on Sept. 5, Judge W. Revell Lewis III suspended all but two years and seven months of the 20-year sentence and ordered Martin to be on supervised probation for five years.
Martin and three other men were arrested in June 2016 after they made a wrong turn while traveling from Lynchburg to Ocean View in Norfolk and ended up at the south toll plaza of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, the court heard.
According to testimony in court, the toll taker told them they could come through and turn around, but when she noticed the men were smoking marijuana in the vehicle, she alerted a police officer.
The officer stopped the vehicle and during a search found illegal drugs and loaded guns in it, the court heard.
“They had cash and two loaded guns in the vehicle,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Bruce Jones. “He has an extensive criminal history since he was 13 years of age.”
Martin’s defense attorney Carl Bundick said his client was “a model citizen while in jail.”
Martin has been in jail since his arrest.
“He was not a major player, he was a back seat passenger,” said Bundick. He said Martin was not a gang member.
“You are 26 years old,” said Judge Lewis. “You have been in trouble with the law for the last 13 years. This is a very serious charge, involving illegal drug activity and a loaded gun in your duffel bag with your ID when you said you had no ID. You are right on the verge of ruining your life by spending it in prison.”
At an earlier bond appeal when bail was denied, Jones had told the court the defendant had a very long criminal record including numerous failures to appear in court along with probation violations, drug offenses and assaults.
Jones said he was admitted to the local hospital while first incarcerated in Northampton as a result of his consuming cocaine in order to conceal it.
He said Martin was released from jail on another offense a mere four months before incurring this charge.
Calling Martin’s criminal history as ”a revolving door of trouble,” the judge said: “You have shown a total disregard and disrespect for the law and rules of court. You are a danger to the public.”
Information about the cases against the other three men in the case was not available.