A man found with drugs after state troopers cited him for driving under suspension was ordered to pay a fine, court costs and attorney's fees Tuesday in Washington County District Court.
Eric L. Durant, 35, was found guilty Dec. 17 of attempted possession of a controlled substance, a Class 1 misdemeanor.
But rather than sentence Durant to probation or jail time, Judge John E. Samson ordered him to pay a $1,000 fine, reimburse Washington County for attorney's fees, which are not exceed $570, and pay court costs by Aug. 10.
“This incident is different than I usually see,” Samson said.
Durant was arrested Aug. 27 after Nebraska State Patrol troopers stopped to offer him assistance when his car broke down on the side of state Highway 133 near County Road 35.
The troopers found that Durant's license was suspended. Durant was cited and troopers began an inventory of the car, which needed to be towed.
As they searched the vehicle, the troopers found a prescription bottle for morphine, which contained one lorazepam and two alprazolam pills. Durant had previously had a prescription for one of the pills, but it had expired.
During the sentencing hearing, Samson noted that Durant has a full-time job and he's taking college classes. He classified the case as low-level possession.
“Under the circumstances, the substance abuse treatment through probation would be a waste of time,” he said.
A jail sentence, Samson said, would cause Durant to lose his job.
“It's an unusual case,” he said.