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Trial ends with guilty plea, sentence

A man who pleaded guilty at the start of his trial was sentenced to 12 months in a state jail facility Wednesday.

A jury deliberated for 14 minutes before sentencing 31-year-old Francisco Cruz and fining him $5,000 for possession of a controlled substance.

After the trial ended, the  Levelland man pleaded guilty to another possession of a controlled substance charge related to an arrest in February 2012.

As part of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to 12 months in state jail, said District Attorney Christopher Dennis.

Cruz will serve the two sentences concurrently and is not eligible for parole.

The range of punishment for the charge that he went to court for was 180 days to two years in state jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.

Police Officer Andrew Mosteller testified that he stopped  Cruz early the morning of Oct. 21, 2011 on Fourth Street for driving with expired registration.

The defendant did not have any identification on him at the time and his driver’s license had been suspended, Mosteller said.

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