Frequent offender sentenced to rehab |

Frequent offender sentenced to rehab

To the relief of his family and friends, repeat drug offender Dwaine Frye was sentenced Tuesday in Nevada County Superior Court to a two-year, in-patient drug rehabilitation program, instead of a prison sentence.

“I owe you guys an apology,” said the handcuffed Frye, 43, from his seat among several other jail inmates, looking at approximately 20 friends and family members in the courtroom. “I’m sorry.”

The crowd, which included his mother, son and several people Frye reportedly helped to stay off drugs, emitted sighs and shouts of “thank you” to Nevada County Judge John Darlington when he handed down Frye’s sentence.

If Frye violates the terms of his seven-year probation, he will go to state prison for 16 years, the maximum sentence for the 15 drug offenses for which he is charged, said Darlington.

Darlington said several letters of support from the community on Frye’s behalf influenced his decision to give Frye a chance at rehabilitation. If not for the outpouring of support, he said, Frye would most likely have been sentenced to prison for at least eight years.

“The number of letters is unprecedented in the 30-plus years I’ve been in this business,” Darlington said. “Frye has put some serious effort into helping people in the addiction community.”

Before his latest arrests, Frye was clean and sober for seven years and worked with the local clean and sober community, said Nevada County Public Defender Thomas Anderson.

Frye was arrested in Dec. 2004 on suspicion of possession, sale and transportation of methamphetamine. He posted bond and was arrested in April on the same charges, and posted bond again.

In July, he was arrested on the same charges. The latest arrest, on Nov. 2, was again on the same charges.

As part of Frye’s sentence, he must spend a year in county jail with 282 days already served.

He must also participate in a one-year, outpatient program after completion of the in-patient program, submit to drug and alcohol testing, register as a drug offender wherever he lives and pay a $1,656 fine.

Outside the courtroom Tuesday afternoon, Frye’s mother Earlene Ashley, 74, said the sentence was fair.

“I’ve been standing by my son ever since he started getting in trouble, and that would be about 25 years,” Ashley said. “I praise God that he has another chance. It’s great.”

To contact Robyn Moormeister, e-mail or call 477-4236.

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