Archive for Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lawrence resident pleads no-contest to drug felonies

Defendant admits growing marijuana in house

September 14, 2006


A Lawrence man was found guilty this week after entering a no-contest plea to two drug-related felonies for his role in growing marijuana plants out of an upscale house near Alvamar Golf Course.

Steven A. Soby, 23, agreed to the deal Monday on counts of cultivating marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. His trial was scheduled to start Wednesday in Douglas County District Court.

Soby faces between 15 months and five years either on probation or in prison.

Douglas County Dist. Atty. Charles Branson said the agreement doesn't guarantee Soby probation.

"He will have to make that case to the judge," Branson said.

Soby's attorney, Billy Rork, said the defense plans to ask Douglas County District Court Judge Stephen Six for a sentence of probation.

"(Soby) said, 'I grew plants. I will take the responsibility, but I wasn't selling it,'" Rork said.

Soby is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 27.

Members of the city-county Drug Enforcement Unit said they began investigating Soby and Nolan H. Smith, 24, after informants said they had knowledge of plant growth at 3710 Hartford Ave.

Officers have alleged that no one lived at the home in 2004, but that the two men used it for an indoor growing operation, partially based on the high utility bills there. Police also said they found marijuana and items consistent with a growing operation in the trash near the men's duplex in southwestern Lawrence.

Soby and Smith were charged in 2005.

Branson said he accepted Soby's plea because it gives him a criminal record, requires him to participate in drug treatment and will make for more severe punishment if he breaks the law again.

"I think it serves the purpose of holding him accountable for his actions," Branson said.

Smith is scheduled to appear before Six for a hearing on Sept. 21.

Branson said Soby was not required to testify against Smith as part of the agreement.

Bork, the defense attorney, said Soby did grow more than five marijuana plants at the home.

Smith's attorney, Sarah Swain, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Prosecutors originally charged both men with cultivation of marijuana, possession with intent to sell marijuana, possession of oxycodone, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to pay a drug-tax stamp.


erotomania 11 years, 4 months ago

Its just pot. Get over it! Drug dealer's get longer and harder sentences then child molesters. That is pathetic!

Sigmund 11 years, 4 months ago

Frankly the fact that they breaking and entering into a private residence is as disconcerting as the pot operation. This is a pretty typical outcome for first time offenses of this type. Most probably these felony convictions will negatively impact them for the rest of their life and the State doesn't have the expense of putting them in prison.

dacs23 11 years, 4 months ago

Erotomania Minimizing a problem in Minimizing a problem in no way helps to find a solution.
Though it is a way to avoid responsability and accountability. Its also a good way to cause peer preasure. GROW UP. And by the way, child molestations laws changed in July. Keep up on your info........

dacs23 11 years, 4 months ago

Sorry about that. I should proof read before I post.

Kontum1972 11 years, 4 months ago

"6" will throw the book at him...he is looking for that supreme court seat and drooling....."power"

classclown 11 years, 4 months ago

"Sorry about that. I should proof read before I post."


All you needed to do was put in an "I say" and you would have had a pretty good Foghorn Leghorn impersonation. :P

Michael Birch 11 years, 4 months ago

I think we should start referring to Mickey Rantz as

Mickey Marijuanaplantz. If your an LPD cop and you

want to try an make a name for yourself, get yourself a

few snitches and start busting kids for weed. Sorry,

pathetic sh*t if you ask me!

Kelly Powell 11 years, 4 months ago

macon, did pot heads beat you up in school?

kansanrose00 11 years, 2 months ago

I think this whole trial is BS to begin with. There are a lot worse drugs out there than pot! And you'd be surprised how much of this town's business is wrapped up into drug money. It will make you all sick! So let him go! At least he wasn't making meth and blowing up the whole block! But whatever.

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