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Kaufman Judge Sentences Drug Manufacturer to 50 Year in Prison

09-01-2012

On Tuesday, August 28, 2012, Ronnie Bannister was found guilty and sentenced on four felony charges including possession of anhydrous ammonia with intent to manufacture methamphetamine, transporting anhydrous ammonia in an unapproved container, theft with two or more previous convictions and evading arrest or detention with a vehicle.  

All charges stemmed from an arrest by the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office on December 20, 2010.  The investigation and prosecution was a collaborative effort by the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office, the Kaufman County District Attorney’s Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and local narcotics task forces.  

Assistant District Attorneys Brandi Fernandez and Shelton Gibbs led the prosecution. Bannister was represented by criminal defense attorney, Larry Finstrom.

During sentencing, prosecutors introduced evidence regarding Bannister’s prior criminal history which included eight prior felony convictions for possession of dangerous drugs, burglary, aggravated assault, forgery, and theft out of Dallas and Rockwall County.  

Bannister pled guilty to all four counts in the indictment and elected to go to the judge for sentencing.  Judge Howard Tygrett assessed Bannister’s punishment at 50 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  

Mike McLelland, the Kaufman County District Attorney, was pleased with the result in that it targets those who produce or contribute to the production of methamphetamine and other controlled substances in Kaufman County.  

McLelland stated “Cutting off the source is a necessary step in combating the drug problem in Kaufman County,” and complimented the Kaufman Sheriff’s Office and the DEA in working together in this goal.