Missouri man avoids jail time after guilty plea for meth possession with intent to deliver

By Benjamin Cox on March 13, 2019 at 12:32pm

A Missouri man pleaded guilty to reduced methamphetamine delivery charges in Scott County court and will serve no jail time.

27 year old Brett Marler-Norton, of Sedalia, MO, was arrested on January 3rd after a traffic stop on Interstate 72 led law enforcement officers to find 56 grams, or about 2 ounces, of methamphetamine on Marler-Norton’s person. He was arrested along with 32 year old Rolando Reyes-Espinoza, a native of Honduras with legal registration in Raymore, MO.

WLDS/WEAI News spoke with Scott County Sheriff Tom Eddinger on the day after the traffic stop and arrests. Sheriff Eddinger told us that Brett Marler-Norton was the only one in the vehicle to be physically in possession of the methamphetamine, as well as possessing a hypodermic needle and a glass pipe. Sheriff Eddinger said Reyes-Espinoza did not have any contraband on his person at the time of the traffic stop and subsequent arrests.

Despite this, Brett Marler-Norton pleaded down to a class 2 felony charge of delivery of methamphetamine between 5 and 15 grams. He originally was charged with a class X felony for delivery of meth between 15 and 100 grams, a class X meth trafficking felony, and class 1 possession of meth felony. His sentence for the class 2 felony is just 24 months probation.

Reyes-Espinoza faces all three of those charges, both class X felonies and the class 1.

Scott County State’s Attorney Michael Hill explains how Marler-Norton’s case ended.

“A negotiated plea was finalized yesterday. Marler-Norton received a fine of $10,000 plus court costs. The count was amended to a Class 2 felony of possession between 5 and 15 grams as part of the amended plea deal.”

Reyes-Espinoza also appeared in court yesterday, along with public defender John Coonrod, and pleaded not guilty to the charges he faces. Hill details those proceedings.

“He appeared yesterday. The court appointed interpreter was not available. Mr. Coonrod and I had agreed to continue the matter to the next jury call. I’m still waiting for lab tests from Illinois State Police. The jury pre-trial is set for June 4th at 9:30 a.m. with jury trial set for July 8th at 10 a.m. He’s currently facing charges of: meth trafficking, a class X felony; possession of meth with intent to deliver, a class X felony; and possession between 15 and 100 grams, a class 1 felony.”

Because the usual court-appointed interpreter was not available, court documents say Reyes-Espinoza’s wife was appointed by the court to serve as a one-time interpreter Tuesday.