Clatsop County District Attorney's Office:
Alejandro Escalante-Franco Sentenced
May 29, 2009
On Friday, May 29, Clatsop County Circuit Judge Phil Nelson sentenced 35-year-old Alejandro Escalante-Franco to a prison term of just under three years under the new and tougher Measure 57 sentencing law.
Escanatle-Franco had been arrested after an investigation by the Clatsop County Inter-Agency Drug Task Force, after they served a search warrant on his home in Astoria on April 7 and recovered 105 grams of cocaine and 27 grams of methamphetamine, and over $2,000 in cash. He also was in possession of a forged social security card and was originally charged with Identity Theft as well. That charge was dismissed and Escalante-Francio pled guilty to charges of Delivery of Cocaine and Methamphetamine.
District Attorney Josh Marquis commended the Drug Task Force led by deputies from Sheriff Tom Bergin’s Office. “Meth and cocaine continue to be the scourge of our North Coast community,” Marquis said. “This arrest of a mid-level dealer is a good start to making our county an unfriendly place for drug dealers. If it were not for Measure 57, the defendant’s sentence would have been 16 to 18 months in prison instead of the 34 months to which he pled guilty.”
Measure 57 was one of two “get tough on property and drug crime” initiatives on the November 2008 ballot. Voters chose Measure 57, which had been backed by a broad coalition of district attorneys, unions, and defense attorneys, as a more balanced reaction to Oregon’s high rate of property crime. Measure 57 creates mandatory sentences for dealers of large amounts of drugs and gives judges the authority to sentence repeat property offenders (burglars, car and identity thieves) to prison time, and mandates treatment.
Marquis pointed out that, under Oregon law before Measure 57, a man with a prior felony record who stole and cut up the bronze statute of Sacagawea at Fort Clatsop National Park could only receive a maximum of 20 days in jail. If that crime were committed today, the judge could give up to three years in prison.
“More than 70% of felons do not go to prison, and first-time property offenders never go to prison in Oregon.” Marquis said. “We should give people struggling with drug addiction who commit non-violent crimes the chance to get clean, but need the stick of possible prison if they refuse to co-operate with probation and treatment.”
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