Quick guilty pleas

Published 9:38 am Saturday, August 13, 2011

Five weeks after five area men were arrested on felony drug charges, we’re amazed to hear that all have entered guilty pleas.

Such swift disposition of a criminal case is virtually unheard of. Can’t help but wonder how it came about so quickly, although a spokeswoman for the U.S. District Court in Norfolk did say it’s not abnormal to see cases settled so quickly.

And the deals each agreed to come with serious time behind bars. Facing a mandatory 10 years in prison and up to life are Alexander Howard Olds, 22, and Jovar Smith, 22, both of Franklin, and Torrance Jamar Bowers, 23, of Ivor.

Facing a mandatory 15 years in prison and up to life are Dominique Raeshawn Kindred, 20, and Brandon De’Shun Cary, 26, both of Franklin. In addition to the mandatory 10 on the drug charges, Kindred and Cary will have to serve another mandatory five years for using guns while selling drugs.

So while authorities labeled these five young men as a major force behind the drug trade in Franklin, it’s good to hear they owned up to their actions.

Still seems like such a shame for such young men to be involved with drug trafficking at this level. The ring was busted on July 6 after the suspects sold crack cocaine, powder cocaine and marijuana over a four-year period. During a two-year investigation, on more than 30 occasions they sold drugs to at least nine informants.

If and when they get out, we can only hope that they will live productive lives.