Salinan gets 13 years for meth charge

Posted: 1st July 2011 by Doc in Uncategorized
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A Salina man who started doing drugs at the age of 4 and argued in court that he needs inpatient treatment to turn his life around was sentenced Wednesday to 13 1/2 years in prison for attempting to manufacture methamphetamine.

“I need help,” Lawrence Zugg said. “I’m a drug addict. The only way I’m going to get over it is if someone teaches me.”

Saline County District Court Judge Jerome Hellmer said he believed Zugg, 38, is sincere in his “insistent and tenacious” requests for treatment, so he ordered that Zugg’s sentences for two offenses be served at the same time so he will get out of prison sooner to seek help.

“Incarceration alone will do only one thing: It will keep you from taking drugs.But when you’re released, you will have the same lack of coping mechanisms,” Hellmer said. With state budget cuts, prison treatment programs have likely been curtailed, he said.

Zugg pleaded no contest to one count of attempting to manufacture a controlled substance and one count of possessing ephedrine with intent to use it to manufacture drugs.

As part of his plea agreement, other charges were dropped and arrangements had been made for him to enter inpatient treatment.He was released on bond, but his bond was revoked before he entered a treatment facility after he told his bond supervising officer that he’d smoked herbal potpourri.

Ran away at age 14

Attorney Greg Bell, who represented Zugg, said Zugg has been on his own since running away from an abusive father at the age of 14. He has previously served drug-related sentences in federal and state prisons.

“You don’t get to where Mr. Zugg is without having some pretty seriously damaging things happen to you in your childhood,” Bell said.

Christina Trocheck, assistant county attorney, argued that many people have a less than desirable childhood but don’t grow up to make the kinds of choices Zugg has made.

“It’s easy for us to discuss and talk about voluntary choices, but the bottom line for a drug addict is those aren’t choices — he can’t control his desire for and need for drugs,” Bell said.

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