Manufacturing methamphetamine earned a Whitesboro man a room in the Texas Department of Corrections for up to 99 years this week.
Brent Carney, 39, received his sentence Wednesday after a jury convicted him of possession of methamphetamine and possession of certain chemicals with intent to manufacture methamphetamine. He was also sentenced to pay a $10,000 fine on each charge.
“It is good to see a jury say, ‘We have had enough of methamphetamine,'” in Grayson County, said District Attorney Joe Brown. “I hope every meth cook, drug dealer, and drug user in this county sees that verdict. The public is sick of methamphetamine. This is the longest sentence we have seen on a drug case.”
Brown said Carney’s case began on April 25, when Whitesboro Police Lt. Scott Taylor and Officer Jason Withrow smelled an odor the believed to be a chemical involved in the manufacture of methamphetamine while driving through a Whitesboro neighborhood.
“The high concentration of the fumes caused the officers to have concern of a danger to the public from ingestion of the fumes or a risk of explosion. The odor was traced to an outside workshop in the backyard of 607 Carver Street. While standing outside, the officers could see through the opened doorway components of a methamphetamine laboratory,” Brown said in a press release.
He said officers met Carney and Krisney Lemons at the rear door of the residence, and another man, Bobby Neal, inside the residence. All of them denied knowing the source of the odor, and denied making methamphetamine. The officers got a search warrant for the house and located a cellar in which chemicals had been dumped and mixed with runoff rainwater. They found two one-gallon jars with liquids that tested positive for methamphetamine.
Officers called Grayson County Environmental Officer Jim White to the scene and he supervised the disposal of the chemicals. In the trial, White testified that the chemicals in the cellar were a dangerous mixture that created a high risk of explosion.
Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Joel Durrett prosecuted the case. He enhanced the charge against Carney by alleging that Carney had previously been convicted of a felony offense of burglary of habitation and had served a prison term on that charge.
Carney faced a minimum of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 99 years. Sherman attorney Rick Dunn represented Carney at trial. He said even though his client was offered a plea deal for 15 years, Carney continued to proclaim his innocence and decided to exercise his constitutional right to a trial.
“He didn’t deny that he was there, but he said he didn’t know anything about the drugs being there,” Dunn explained. He said he will be filing a motion for a new trial in the next 30 days and Carney has expressed an interest in filing an appeal.
The case was tried in the 336th state District Court with Judge Lauri Blake presiding.
From the Herald Democrat Texas