FLORENCE — A Pinal County man who snuck drugs into jail after his arrest is getting much less time than he was originally facing.
Marcus Payne, 27, appeared Tuesday in early disposition court to be sentenced in a favorable plea arrangement he made with prosecutors.
Payne, of Oracle, pleaded guilty to four of 20 felony counts against him, including possession of heroin and methamphetamine found in his personal belongings that guards missed when he was booked into the county jail.
His last series of crimes was committed just eight days before he was offered a plea deal from prosecutors. He was sentenced in a total of 20 days from the time he was caught with heroin and methamphetamine at the Pinal County jail.
Payne was sentenced Tuesday to a total of seven years in prison by Pinal County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Wharton followed by five years of supervised probation.
In the agreements, Payne pleaded guilty to possession of a dangerous drug-meth, second-degree burglary, possession of a narcotic drug-heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia and promoting prison contraband-meth.
Based on all of the plea deals, Payne will serve five years in prison under concurrent sentences, two years on the new drug charges that are to be sentenced consecutively with the first sentence, and then five years probation.
Payne could have faced as much as 50 years in prison without the plea deals.
“I know what I did was wrong and I ask you to maybe recommend me to drug treatment,” Payne asked Judge Wharton.
He was also ordered to pay $1,000 in fines and to attend substance abuse counseling while in prison.
On July 24, Payne was originally placed in the Pinal County jail charged with three counts of second-degree burglary, two counts of theft and trafficking in stolen property, and four drug charges. On July 29, Payne made a suspicious phone call to his “girlfriend requesting collection of his property that is currently at the Pinal County Adult Detention Center,” according to court records.
During the call he requested that she “pick up all of his property” and that only she be the one who picked it up.
Jail personnel were advised about the call and found heroin and methamphetamine in his personal belongings at the jail.
Still, prosecutors followed through on a plea deal the following day for the majority of his charges and again on Aug. 6 to cover his new charges.
Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer said Payne was charged for drugs that officers found on him when he came into the jail and was charged again for the drugs he had in his personal property at the jail.
“We know his criminal history,” Volkmer said. “Primarily he is first, and foremost, a drug addict. All of his behavior is addiction driven.”
The county attorney said a number of plea deals were already in the works when Payne came into the jail.
“They were comfortable moving forward when they were sure that this was the last case he had pending,” Volkmer said of his staff.
Volkmer said the last set of drug charges added about two years to the already negotiated prison sentence in the first series of plea arrangements.