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BURNET — A Burnet County jury sent a message June 11 when it sentenced a 37-year-old man to 18 years in prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, two years shy of the maximum penalty.

The same jury convicted Patrick Edward Davis the day before after 35 minutes of deliberation. Davis was originally arrested Nov. 17, 2011, after law enforcement found 2.5 grams of meth and distribution materials in his vehicle.

Burnet County Assistant District Attorney Clair Carter, who prosecuted the case along with District Attorney Sonny McAfee, said the punishment sent a strong message to residents the county will not tolerate criminals who possess or deal drugs in the community.

In November 2011, a Burnet County deputy pulled over Davis’ car on U.S. 281 north of Marble Falls. The deputy’s canine alerted on the man’s vehicle, indicating the presence of drugs.

Burnet County Special Operations Unit found the drugs and delivery paraphernalia in Davis’ car.

Officials said it wasn’t just the November 2011 arrested that landed Davis behind bars for 18 years but also his previous run-ins with the law and the impact meth has on people who use the illegal drug. Davis admitted in court to previous convictions for possession of 2 pounds of marijuana and delivery of a controlled substance.

The man admitted to arrests for domestic violence and a violation of a protective order, though those charges were later dropped.

But it wasn’t just Davis’ deeds that might have played a role in his lengthy sentence. During the punishment phase of the trial, prosecutors turned to methamphetamine users themselves to tell the jury how addictive and dangerous the drug is, both to individuals and the entire community.

The witnesses testified to how dangerous the drug is even for first-time users as well as how it leads to other crimes such as burglaries and violent offenses, officials said.

McAfee commended the jury for paying attention during the trial and taking decisive action to help protect the community in which the members live.