Comments Off on Montco meth trafficker headed to state prison

NORRISTOWN — A tearful Upper Gwynedd man hugged his wife goodbye before beginning a prison stint for his role in a methamphetamine trafficking organization in Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.

Francesco “Frank” Messina, 44, of the 600 block of Garfield Avenue, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Tuesday to three-to-six years in a state correctional facility after he pleaded guilty to charges of corrupt organizations, possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine and conspiracy in connection with incidents that occurred between December 2011 and March 2012.

Judge Thomas G. Gavin, a visiting senior judge from Chester County, also ordered Messina, who at the time of his arrest worked at a Lansdale area auto-body shop, to complete 15 years’ probation after he’s paroled from prison, meaning Messina will be under court supervision for 21 years.

“Frank Messina is a drug dealer, a drug user, and he used both lying and manipulation to accomplish those goals. Now he can think about what he did the next few years in state prison,” said Assistant District Attorney Jason Whalley, who argued for a lengthy state prison sentence against Messina. “He was one of the top guys in this organization and that’s why the commonwealth sought state prison sentences for him. Now he’s off the streets.”
The sentence includes a mandatory three-year prison term that prosecutors sought under state laws that allow for mandatory sentences based on the amount of drugs involved in crimes. With the charges, prosecutors alleged the weight of the methamphetamine was between five-and-10 grams.

Faced with at least the three-year mandatory sentence for the possession with intent to deliver charge, Messina, through his lawyer Sean Cullen, asked the judge not to impose any consecutive prison time for his other crimes. Cullen argued Messina was remorseful and had a learning disability and was functionally illiterate and yet managed to hold well-paying jobs to support his family.

Cullen said Messina initially took methamphetamine to give him the energy to work “48 or 72 hours straight” so he could support his family.



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