Accused habitual offender charged with possessing 17 grams of drugs, handgun – Palladium-Item
RICHMOND, Ind. — A Richmond man with four felony convictions faces four more felony charges after he was found with 17 grams of drugs and a handgun during a traffic stop.
Justin Lee McNutt, 32, of the 500 block of North 16th Street has his Circuit Court initial hearing scheduled at 10 a.m. Friday. He was formally charged by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office with Level 3 felony possession of methamphetamine, Level 5 felony felon carrying a handgun, Level 6 felony possession of a syringe and Level 6 felony possession of heroin. Judge April Drake found probable cause for the four felonies.
McNutt, who is also accused of being a habitual offender, remains in the Wayne County Jail with a $25,000 bond.
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A Level 3 felony conviction carries a nine-year advisory sentence established by the Indiana legislature and a sentencing range of three to 16 years. If McNutt is convicted, a habitual offender adjudication would enhance his sentence.
McNutt qualifies as a habitual offender because of previous felony convictions for theft, battery and possession of a syringe. He also has a felony conviction for receiving stolen property and misdemeanor convictions for possession of marijuana, theft and battery.
A Richmond Police Department officer pulled over a vehicle that had the incorrect registration March 27 on East Main Street. McNutt was the front-seat passenger in the Dodge Stratus, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
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A Cambridge City Police Department K-9 indicated the presence of a narcotics odor in the Stratus, the affidavit said. In McNutt’s pants pocket, officers found $896 cash, 15 grams of methamphetamine, 2 grams of heroin, and a syringe. A backpack containing a Taurus handgun was located on the front passenger floorboard.
McNutt said he was taking the gun to a friend, he had the drugs for personal use and the cash was from his paycheck, according to the affidavit.
The driver and another passenger were released from the scene, the affidavit said.