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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Five sentenced in drug trafficking


    Five people, including a former teacher, were sentenced Thursday afternoon at the U.S. Federal District Court in Midland for their part in a drug ring involving Midland High School.

    All five people in the drug trafficking case pleaded guilty.

    Deborah Suzanne Morton, a former Midland High teacher, was sentenced to 37 months in prison, three years supervised release and a $7,500 fine.

    Eric Rodriguez, 22, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and three years supervised release. David Bonilla, 21, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years supervised release.

    Christian Porter, one of Morton’s former students, was sentenced to five years probation, one of which will be on home confinement with an electronic monitor, and a $2,500 fine.

    Martin Cano, who was accused of supplying the group, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and three years supervised release.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney John Klassen said the sentencings can serve as a warning to young people who are “”heedless.””

    “”Obviously we’re not talking about drug kingpins here,”” he said. “”But due to the involvement of an educator here, we consider this very important.””

    Klassen said his office can care about day-to-day drug crimes while also caring about cartels.

    During the sentencing, he said Morton thanked the law enforcement agencies for their work, saying “”for without it I would be dead right now.””

    Porter also said the situation saved his life, Klassen said.

    According to a previous story by the Midland Reporter-Telegram, tips to the Midland Police Department about the debate teacher at MHS trading hydrocodone pills for methadone and hydro-marijuana led to a search of her house, where they found marijuana and 12 units of methadone.

    She also said during an interview that she allowed Bonilla and Porter to smoke marijuana with her at home. While agents were leaving the home, Rodriguez showed up to sell marijuana to Morton.

    Cano was accused of supplying methadone to Bonilla.

    Also this week, Eric Paton Carpenter of Midland, who pleaded guilty in October to possession child pornography, was sentenced to 72 months in prison and lifetime supervised release, Klassen said.

    “”We thought it was a very stiff sentence which was appropriate given the severity of the crime,”” he said.

    Carpenter’s sentence was enhanced based on the federal sentencing rules because of the nature of some of the images found, Klassen said.

    According to the criminal complaint, during their divorce, Carpenter’s wife found a DVD in his belongings that showed two young boys fondling themselves. His wife then informedMidland police July 6, 2010. Investigators later found several more pornographic clips of adolescents, and Carpenter was arrested Aug. 10.

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