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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Local man sentenced for cocaine possession

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Despite an effort by his defense attorney to get him probation, a judge sentenced Charles E. Simmons Monday to 30 months in prison for possession of cocaine in 2004.

Gil Gregory, Simmons' attorney, asked Bourbon County Court Judge Mark Ward to place his client on probation, instead of presumptive prison that was called for under the Kansas sentencing guidelines.

"Charles is a good candidate for probation," Gregory said. The 35-year-old knows what he has to do to get his life back on track, Gregory said, and probation would help accomplish that.

Gregory said he conceded that Simmons missed and was late for court appearances and absconded for about a year that resulted in his arrest in May.

In March 2004, Fort Scott Police arrested Simmons after finding .41 grams of cocaine on him. He was charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to sell. The charge was amended to possession of cocaine.

Simmons, in January 2006, pleaded guilty to the charge.

The relatively small amount of the drug was not a significant amount, even though possession of cocaine is a serious offense, Gregory said. He asked why that amount would even prompt a possession charge.

Bourbon County Attorney Terri Johnson said the amount was enough to compel the charge. It wasn't like there was cocaine residue in drug paraphernalia or anything like that, she said.

Simmons' prior criminal record determined a presumptive prison sentence, and Ward adhered to the Kansas sentencing grid.

On Oct. 18, Gregory filed a motion to withdraw the guilty plea, saying Simmons apparently didn't recall and therefore didn't inform counsel that he had a prior conviction of first degree burglary in 1990 in Jackson County, Mo. That conviction altered Simmons' placement in the Kansas sentencing guidelines to presumptive prison instead of presumptive probation, which led Gregory to advise his client to plead guilty. Simmons wouldn't have pleaded guilty if he had known about how the prior conviction changed his sentencing recommendation, according to court records.

The motion was denied.

In 2003, Simmons was also convicted of theft in Bourbon County. Also, he tested positive for marijuana in July 2003 while on probation for the theft charge.

Ward said "problems" arise concerning the proposed allowance of probation. Those problems are two-fold: Simmons' prior criminal history and his absconding and being late for court appearances.

The judge would have to find "substantial and compelling reasons to ignore the law," which in this case was the recommended prison term established by the sentencing guidelines, Ward said. Those compelling reasons didn't exist, based on Simmons' prior actions.

Simmons said that situations with his family caused his absconding and tardiness for court appearances. His fiance had a difficult pregnancy and he was scared, depressed, and traumatized because of what was going on in his life, he said.

He has since found God and wants to do the right thing from this point forward, Simmons told Ward.

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Well looks like we do not have a judge that is afraid to do his job good work Mark Ward now lets see what the police do to the rest of the drug dealers. Maybe he should have bought a house in ft Scott and then they would never have busted him.

-- Posted by shorty on Tue, Oct 30, 2007, at 12:11 PM

I did not know that buying a house in Fort Scott or anywhere else would win you a "get out of jail free" card. Don't get me wrong, i am very critical too of the nature in which some drug traffic seems to pass under the table unnoticed. There are bigger fish than he....those are the ones that need busted. Do they own a house in Fort Scott?


-- Posted by cyberchaos on Tue, Oct 30, 2007, at 2:43 PM

If you are buying property you sure are not a small fish. And as for Terri Johnson she will not charge the big fish there money is not small enough for her or is she just afraid to rock the boat???? Good thing we have a judge that is trying to save our children. Look around drugs are everywhere in Ft Scott. Small town with a big problem that seems to go untouched. Hummm.

-- Posted by shorty on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 9:05 AM

WAY TO GO MARK WARD!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is about time someone ELSE in that county office had a say about things.

I totally agree with everyone, but, I think the police are being held back from doing everything they can do by Terri. Remember, she is the one that says if the case is going to court or not.

-- Posted by FtScottCitizen on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 9:40 PM

The police have to do there job right for Terri Johnson to have a case and most times it is botched up so really they are at fault with her . All Terri hangs on is battery cases and most of them are bogus.

-- Posted by shorty on Thu, Nov 1, 2007, at 10:36 PM

Most of the times it is "botched" up??? Like how??

I know of a couple cases I have followed in which everything was done right during the investigation but the CA's office told the police that they were wrong, calming your cant do that. Funny thing is there is case law from the US Supreme court telling people they CAN do this. But it goes back to the sad truth. It's not who you are, its who you know.

And yes that office does hold the police back from doing their jobs. They are the real problem with this town. Elect another county attorney that wants to do their job and see what happens

-- Posted by FtScottCitizen on Fri, Nov 2, 2007, at 11:54 AM

I agree with you to a point but i see a lot of battery cases between men and women and all Terri does is give them probation or throw it out . But you let two females or two males get into a fight and she is gun ho. She needs to take some lessons on domestic violence. Also you find some cases where the police overreach and file charges that are bogus . look at the paper and read some of the charges they file. they need to take some classes in law to know what is legal and not legal . Being a police officer does not mean you know all the legalities of the law that is why they are police and not attorneys . When you arrest someone because of what someone else says you are walking a thin line especially if the accuser is drunk or drugged out but Ft Scott has a history of doing just that. They make up witnesses and will put them on the paper work . The legal system in Ft Scott is messed up. It is who you are and what you have. You will see the same names over and over in the paper come on if you keep seeing the same names for drug possession where are they getting it duh????? Has anyone taken a look at the underage drinking ???? Of course with those small bonds why quit??? And who is getting it for them???

-- Posted by shorty on Sat, Nov 3, 2007, at 1:12 PM

Yes we do need to get rid of Terri and get someone who will do there job and be fair. Did I say Fair ???

-- Posted by shorty on Sat, Nov 3, 2007, at 1:14 PM

Sad but true I can tell you what happens in domestic violence cases. Domestic violence is one of only three crimes in the state of Kansas in which police officers are required by state law to make an arrest. That arrest of course comes with probable cause. So many times an arrest is made for domestic violence and during the coming weeks to court the victim often backs out and says "nothing happened," in a sense refusing to testify against the accused. By that time the male and female have made up anyways. Women are stuck in the "battered wife" mind frame. If you really want to put a stop to this then how about fasely reporting a crime?? You sleep in the bed YOU made.

Underage drinking has the same effect. Its all about who you know, ask the assistant county attorney about that one. If we are going to clean house, she needs to be included.

-- Posted by FtScottCitizen on Sat, Nov 3, 2007, at 10:42 PM

So many cases are dropped everyday by the CA's office. I imagine one reason among many is the case load is to high. HOW ABOUT WE FULLY PROSECUTE CASES FOR A CHANGE. You think that the case load would go down???

-- Posted by FtScottCitizen on Sat, Nov 3, 2007, at 10:44 PM

Another reason may be that some are just plain bogus. I was reading a response by cyberchaos and they are correct get busy busting people. Drug houses close to churches.

-- Posted by shorty on Sun, Nov 4, 2007, at 3:22 PM

This was just a little fish and he gets prison lets get the big fish of course that will not happen

-- Posted by shorty on Sun, Nov 4, 2007, at 3:34 PM

One way to make the case load of the CA go down is if our country would just do the right thing and legalize marijuana!

-- Posted by like2b_onree on Sun, Nov 4, 2007, at 3:48 PM

Marijuana legal. Then what??? Heroin, cocain, meth??? You can't make marijana legal because you couldn't draw the line after the fact.

Ya, the little fish got sent to prison, but the little fish also didn't roll on the big fish. He was looking out for his own to.

-- Posted by FtScottCitizen on Sun, Nov 4, 2007, at 9:39 PM

With a logic like yours I bet you'd be for bringing back prohibition.

-- Posted by like2b_onree on Sun, Nov 4, 2007, at 10:35 PM

I do not think marijuana should be legal it is a gateway drug to other drugs but I think the police should stop waiting on someone else to do there job for them also. It is up to the community to step in and help but that is a scary thing since you can not trust some of them to keep there mouths shut as I said before you can tell some police officers and they go right back and tell the dealers who you are and what you say i do not call that trust your local police . How long are the police in Ft Scott gonna say we can not get anyone to talk and just ignore what is going on??? If they watch the drug dealers as close as they do a car going down the street they may get somebody. It is strange how you can give out so many tickets but can not catch a big fish.

-- Posted by shorty on Wed, Nov 7, 2007, at 10:37 AM

Shorty, if you think you can do it better the police department is hiring. So go do it yourself if you think it is so easy to do. Mabye you can figure out that it is alot harder to go out and get drugs than it is to pull over a car. You just cant walk up to a drug house and say your under arrest.

Its amazing, people like you complain about the police not doing there jobs but drug dealers are protected by the same rights you or anyone else has. So how easy do make it to get into a house for a search warrant, or to pull one over and search their vehicle.

-- Posted by FtScottCitizen on Wed, Nov 7, 2007, at 11:55 AM

Another question to you shorty. Besides the police officers that make it in the paper for news coverage (Chief Davis, Lt. Shelton, Lt. West) how many others that work there can you name off the top of your head. Since you can't trust the officer's and all surely you can name them. I bet you can even name half, which is 10 officers.

-- Posted by FtScottCitizen on Wed, Nov 7, 2007, at 11:58 AM

I know some people that should be required to smoke pot on a daily basis!

They need to mellow out!

-- Posted by like2b_onree on Wed, Nov 7, 2007, at 9:23 PM

Wow you sound like a police officer Ft Scott citizen. I am not trying to say names . And yes I can name more than those 3 people . What does that have to do with doing there job. Do I need the names of the FBI for them to do there job NOT. I am missing your point. And why are these the only ones who hit the paper. Yes everyone has the same rights that is what I love about AMERICA. But everyone is suppose to be treated equal and the point is people are not treated equal they are mistreated if they are poor or because of there last name that is the way it is in Ft Scott . If someone lies on you in Ft scott and you have the wrong last name you are guilty then have to prove you are innocent. That is not the way the law is suppose to work. but it does in MAKE YOUR OWN CASE FT SCOTT. To put it blunt if the police would be more people friendly maybe they could get people to talk.

-- Posted by shorty on Thu, Nov 8, 2007, at 9:55 AM

By the way I would not be a police officer in Ft Scott the pay is not good enough. And what about profiling say that does not happen in ft Scott??? These people have rights. Rumor has it they can only arrest some people True or False who knows but they sure can not keep many officers they seem to leave or just plain quit. Some have went to the Sherrifs department where they can do there job.

-- Posted by shorty on Thu, Nov 8, 2007, at 10:16 AM

Not a police officer. A parent of one. So of course I take that side.

-- Posted by FtScottCitizen on Thu, Nov 8, 2007, at 10:53 AM

Well I just read an article where terri filed charges that probably won't fly. Maybe you have a point no matter what the police do if she messes up the charges of course people will get off. She files charges on people and she has that right but with a lawyer that knows the law they are not gonna stick . If I were a police officer i would be just a little upset after all the work and for her to mess it up.

-- Posted by shorty on Thu, Nov 8, 2007, at 11:56 AM

Ft Scott Citizen I hope your daughter or son can make a difference. I just read in Pittsburg paper where two juveniles were stopped in Ft Scott and they found meth. only one of them went to juvie. As I said before it is getting to the kids. And you are right we ALL have to do something but who can you trust???????

-- Posted by shorty on Thu, Nov 8, 2007, at 12:07 PM

I agree it is very much about educating young children. When I was in school, never in a million years would you find drugs inside the school. I lived in a town of 40,000 people to.

Now a days, highs schools and junior high schools. Makes you sick. A child doesn't even have a chance anymore. The start a life long problem in their teenage years. The town needs to be clean from drugs. If not for us, then for the children.

Your right, police pay in Bourbon county is very low. Who wants to work for that? In a high stress job, everywhere you go people are bad mouthing you.

You know, there are bad cops around. But you would think that the good cops hate the bad cops just as much as we hate them.

-- Posted by FtScottCitizen on Thu, Nov 8, 2007, at 4:29 PM

I agree there are good cops and bad cops but the good cops have there hands tied the system has been corrupt so long that the good cops do not have a chance even though some try to change the perception and they end up leaving because they got on the force to do a good and fair job and they are not allowed to. Some leave because they are worse then what we have . it is really sad.

-- Posted by shorty on Fri, Nov 9, 2007, at 11:01 AM

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