A Ferguson man was sentenced to 26 years in prison last week after pleading guilty to felony weapons charges.

Hubert E. Dugger, 41, avoided a trial which would have begun next Monday by pleading guilty Friday to two counts of Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and two counts of second-degree Persistent Felony Offender (PFO). According to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney David Dalton, the first set of possession and PFO charges dates back to a January 2017 incident in which Kentucky State Police pulled over a Chevy Trailblazer at a Nancy church. Dugger left three firearms in the vehicle as he fled on foot. A very similar incident occurred just 13 months later, in February 2018, when Somerset Police pulled over a Nissan Altima in the Circle K parking lot. Dugger then threw a handgun out the window of the car and fled on foot.

Dugger is already serving a five-year sentence after being convicted in Whitley County this past February of first-degree Possession of a Controlled Substance, Fleeing or Evading (first offense) and Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon.

Dalton thanked KSP and SPD for their efforts in the local cases.

Dugger's case is one of a baker's dozen resolved this month in Pulaski Circuit Judge Jeffrey Burdette's courtroom. As announced by Commonwealth's Attorney Eddy F. Montgomery, the others include:

Drug-Related Cases

William W. Wilson III, 38, of Somerset pleaded guilty Thursday to a series of charges stemming from four separate indictments. Dalton stated that last October, Constable Mike Wallace along with units from KSP and Burnside Police found Wilson in possession of over two grams of methamphetamine with intent to traffic, resulting in him pleading guilty to first-degree Trafficking in a Controlled Substance. Wilson pleaded guilty to felony fleeing or evading in connection to a May 2018 incident in which he fled from KSP on a Suzuki motorcycle. He pleaded guilty to felony bail jumping after failing to appear in court last December. Finally, Wilson pleaded guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon in connection to an August 2018 incident where Constable Wallace caught him with a shotgun despite previous felony convictions. Dalton is recommending a total of seven years in prison. Wilson's final sentencing is scheduled for September 19.

James Scott Cowan, 52, of Monticello, pleaded guilty to first-degree Trafficking in a Controlled Substance and second-degree PFO. According to Dalton, a confidential informant with the Lake Cumberland Area Drug Task Force purchased .2 gram of methamphetamine from Cowan for $50 in November 2016. The prosecutor is recommending six years in prison for the drug charge. Cowan is set to be sentenced on September 19.

Rodney Rose Jr., 29, of Somerset, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three years in prison for first-degree Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (under two grams). According to Montgomery, a confidential informant with SPD purchased .375 gram of methamphetamine from Rose for $50 last October.

Heather Michelle Owens, 38, of Crab Orchard, was sentenced to two years in prison for Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and first-degree Promoting Contraband. According to Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Neal Tucker, an investigation by the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office found Owens with a firearm after having already been convicted of a felony. As she was being booked into the Pulaski County Detention Center (PCDC), Owens was further found with a bag of methamphetamine in her shoe.

Hayden L. Campbell, 40, of Somerset, was sentenced to two years in prison for first-degree Possession of a Controlled Substance and first-degree Promoting Contraband. Campbell was originally granted a pre-trial diversion for meth possession in June but was revoked on July 11 for violating the conditions of his release. Montgomery prosecuted the case.

Angela M. Simpson, 37, of Somerset, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in prison for first-degree Promoting Contraband. According to Montgomery, PCDC found Simpson trying to sneak a syringe into the jail last December. The commonwealth's attorney added that the sentence would run consecutive to other convictions, so Simpson will be serving a total of 14 years.

Kayla D. Hooten, 24, of Somerset, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in prison for first-degree Possession of a Controlled Substance. According to Dalton, SPD found Hooten in possession of a small amount of methamphetamine on West Market Street.

Theft-Related Cases

Nathaniel A. Lopez, 20, of Somerset, was sentenced to eight years in prison for two counts of third-degree Burglary. According to Dalton, Lopez was caught shoplifting from Kroger in March and April of this year after having been previously banned from the store. Lopez was prosecuted as part of Project Shop-Loss.

Brandon Cassidy, 24, of Somerset, was sentenced to eight years in prison for first-degree Possession of a Forged Instrument and Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon. Dalton stated that SPD conducted the investigation of an incident dating back to July of last year. Cassidy was previously convicted of third-degree Burglary and Theft by Unlawful Taking over $500 but less than $10,000 back in June 2017.

Mark Andrew Alban, 48, of Somerset, was sentenced to two years in prison for third-degree Burglary, third-degree Criminal Mischief and Tampering with Physical Evidence. According to Tucker, an SPD investigation determined that Alban broke into Calvary Baptist Church last February and caused damage. When police caught up to him, Alban also spit out a baggie in an attempt to hide evidence.

Antoine W. Cowan, 38, of Somerset, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in prison for Possession of Stolen Mail Matter. According to Dalton, an SPD investigation in January 2018 found that Antoine Cowan had stolen mail from in and around Old Monticello Street.

William Richard Lyons, 51, of Somerset pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year in prison for felony Receiving Stolen Property. According to Tucker, an SPD investigation found him with a stolen vehicle on Sherman Avenue last January.

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