BURNET — A 31-year-old man who has already served prison time for drug-related crimes is headed back to the penitentiary after a Burnet County jury sentenced him Jan. 15 on the first-degree felony of manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance.
The same jury sentenced the defendant, Shane Christopher Allen, to 25 years in prison.
Burnet County Assistant District Attorney Claire Carter said the jury members sent a clear message that they aren’t going to tolerate repeat offenders peddling drugs in the community.
“He has done time before on the same offense,” Carter said. She and Burnet County Assistant District Attorney Peter Keim tried the case in State District Judge Dan Mills’ courtroom. “The jury sent a very strong message with a 25-year sentence that this community isn’t going to tolerate people dealing drugs.”
Allen faced up to 99 years in prison on the charge, which was a first-degree felony because of the amount of illegal drugs involved.
In 2007, Allen was found guilty in Burnet County for the same charge and sentenced to prison. But he was released in 2008, according to court documents.
Burnet County isn’t the only place Allen has run afoul of the law. According to Comal County court records, Allen was found guilty on state-jail felony drug charges in 2003 and sentenced to 240 days in jail.
Carter said, in cases involving repeat offenders, it’s extremely important the perpetrator get a long sentence.
“It makes our community safer,” she said. “While he’s in prison, he’s not out on the street selling or providing drugs.”
The assistant district attorney said she hoped others took notice of the 25-year sentence.
“So people who are thinking (dealing drugs) is a good way to make a little extra money will realize that Burnet County juries aren’t going to tolerate that type of behavior,” Carter said.
While the jury did sentence Allen to 25 years, it’s possible under Texas law he might not spend the entire time behind bars.
Carter said the man’s prison time rest in the hands of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.
“But (the district attorney’s office) is pleased that the jury gave him a long sentence,” Carter said.