Drug dealer avoids prison and gets 6 years in halfway house | VailDaily.com

Drug dealer avoids prison and gets 6 years in halfway house

Attorney Greg Robinson, left, has a word with his client Leonard Loomis, who pleaded guilty to two felony counts of drug possession.

EAGLE — When Leonard Loomis told a judge he had rarely worked a regular job, District Court Judge Paul Dunkelman decided a little structure would be Loomis' next stop.

Dunkelman sentenced Loomis to six years in community corrections, instead of sending him to prison.

Loomis was arrested Feb. 22 with his girlfriend and accomplice, Katie McManus. They were sleeping in the stairwell of an Avon hotel and Avon police wanted to send the couple down the road. However, a quick search turned up heroin, cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms, nine strips of LSD, 20.4 grams of ketamine – a chemical cousin to PCP (angel dust) and $5,847 cash.

Why they did not spend some of that cash to rent a hotel room was not made clear in any court proceedings.

“Loomis does not have a good history, but it’s all drugs and drinking. It does not involve getting in a car. He has no violence on his lengthy criminal record,”Greg RobinsonAttorney for Leonard Loomis

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Police also learned about a restraining order demanding Loomis and McManus stay away from each other, and that Loomis stay away from alcohol and drugs.

Paying for the lifestyle

Loomis, who claimed he graduated from Purdue University, pleaded guilty to two drug distribution felonies.

Dunkelman asked Loomis several questions during his sentencing hearing.

"When was the last time you had a job?" Dunkelman asked.

Loomis said he worked agriculture and landscaping, and that he was last in drug treatment in 2007.

Much of Loomis' life so far had been spent following rock bands around and selling drugs.

"You were dealing drugs to pay for your lifestyle. You weren't getting rich selling drugs," Dunkelman said.

Loomis explained to Dunkelman how he had rarely had a steady job.

"You haven't told me much that gives me a high level of confidence," Dunkelman said.

The probation department suggested state prison.

"I'm done drinking. This is the kick in the ass I needed," Loomis said.

Dunkelman decided he wouldn't warehouse Loomis, not just yet.

Dunkelman sentenced him to six years in community corrections, a halfway house where Loomis will work a regular job and get some counseling.

Loomis' 35-page criminal history features arrests in more than a dozen states. McManus had no previous criminal record.

"Loomis does not have a good history, but it's all drugs and drinking. It does not involve getting in a car. He has no violence on his lengthy criminal record," said Greg Robinson, Loomis' attorney.

Deputy District Attorney Courtney Gilbert said Loomis has drug charges dating back to 2001.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.