A Dyer County man who traded his truck for crack cocaine, then reported it stolen, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Dyer County Circuit Court to filing a false police report.
Russell Franklin Willis, 24, of 8787 Millsfield Highway, was sentenced by Judge Lee Moore to serve two years in prison for filing the false report.
"On Sept. 26, 2003, Mr. Willis reported to the Dyersburg Police Department that his white Toyota pickup truck with purple pin striping had been stolen from the Chequers parking lot," District Attorney General Phil Bivens told Moore. "When the police department put out a bulletin on the stolen truck it was heard by other officers and the truck was quickly stopped by a Dyer County Deputy Sheriff.
"The truck was being driven by Cedric Moses, who said he had gotten it in exchange for crack cocaine."
Bivens said when confronted with the driver's story, Willis admitted he had given his truck in exchange for drugs.
Moses pleaded guilty Oct. 20 in Dyersburg City Court to a charge of casual exchange of cocaine and was sentenced to serve 11 months, 29 days, suspended to 60 days, in the Dyer County Jail.
As part of his plea arrangement, Willis will be permitted to enter a long-term (six months or longer) drug rehabilitation program.
Moore told Willis it is solely his responsibility to gain admittance to such a program and that he must do so before being taken into custody by the Tennessee Department of Correction.
"Once you're taken into custody by the state I lose all authority to grant you a furlough," the judge said. "Even if I want to give you a furlough after they take you into custody I can't."
Under terms of the furlough, Willis must complete the treatment program to gain any credit on his jail term. If he leaves the program before completion for any reason he must return to jail and serve his full term.
If he successfully completes the program, Moore said he will consider a motion to suspend the remainder of the sentence, but made it clear to Willis that he was making no promise of a suspension.
"Whether your sentence is suspended or not will depend on your behavior and what the rehabilitation personnel report about it," Moore said. "It's really up to you."
If Willis serves the two-year term, he will be eligible for parole after serving 30 percent, or 7.2 months, of the sentence.
Seven other criminal defendants recently pleaded guilty and were sentenced in circuit court:
* Edward Armstrong, 18, of 1626 Cherry St., Dyersburg, pleaded guilty June 9 to a charge of theft of property worth less than $10,000 and on Oct. 7 to a charge of burglary of an automobile and was sentenced to serve three years of probation and to pay $2,260 in restitution.
* Pamela Yvonne Clark, 33, of 1009 Compress St., Apt. A, Dyersburg, pleaded guilty Oct. 7 to a charge of possession of less than .5 gram of cocaine and was sentenced to serve six months in the Dyer County Jail and two years, six months on community corrections (house arrest).
* Quincy Gray, 27, of Holliman, Memphis, pleaded guilty Sept. 23 to a charge of possession of a weapon as a convicted felon and was sentenced to serve three years in prison. He will be eligible for parole after serving 35 percent, or 12.6 months, of the sentence.
* Joshua T. Manning, 21, of 1730 Harris St., Dyersburg, pleaded guilty Oct. 7 to two charges of burglary and was sentenced to serve two years on community corrections (house arrest) and to pay $415 in restitution.
* Stevie Thompson, 21, of 209 Bowen Lane, Dyersburg, pleaded guilty Oct. 7 to a charge of sale of less than .5 gram of cocaine and was sentenced to serve three years in prison, to pay a $2,000 fine and to pay $100 in restitution to the Dyersburg Police Department drug fund. He will be eligible for parole after serving 30 percent, or 10.8 months, of the sentence.
* Jason Taylor, 21, of 420 York St., Apt. C, Newbern, pleaded guilty on Oct. 7 to charges of aggravated assault and especially aggravated assault and was sentenced to serve six months in the Dyer County Jail and eight years of supervised probation.
* Stephen Howard Wilson, 40, of 937b Pennell Lane, Dyersburg, pleaded guilty Sept. 23 to a charge of driving under the influence of an intoxicant and was sentenced to serve 10 days in the Dyer County Jail and 11 months, 29 days of unsupervised probation, to attend DUI school, to pay a $350 fine and to have his driver's license suspended for one year.