Sparks filed a recidivist information in Mingo County Circuit Court pursuant to West Virginia Code 61-11-18(a), the West Virginia Habitual Criminal Act. He said the state will make the decision if it should seek sentence enhancement.
Sentencing will be imposed at 11:30 a.m. on the above date by Chief Judge Michael Thornsbury.
The 34-year-old Warren was convicted Wednesday on two counts of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Cocaine), as charged in Counts I and II of his January 2009 indictment (F81).
He was acquitted on Count III of his indictment. Judge Thornsbury declared a mistrial on Count IV after the jury advised that it was deadlocked.
“I am pleased with Counts I and II guilty verdicts and look forward to the retrial of the defendant on Count IV,” said Sparks. “I commend the Mingo County Sheriff’s Department and, particularly, Lt. J.D. Ferris for an outstanding investigation.
The prosecutor said Warren ordinarily would face two to 15 years in prison, but enhancement of his sentence to twice the minimum term of years would expose him to confinement in a state correctional facility for an indefinite term of not less than four years nor more than 30 years.
The Mingo County prosecutor charges in the recidivist information that Warren, on or about Jan. 29, 1996, was convicted by guilty plea in U.S. District Court, Southern District of West Virginia, Case No. of one count of distribution of Cocaine Base, a felony violation of 31 U.S.C. 841(a)(1).
The information notes that Warren was committed to the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons on May 16, 1996, to be imprisoned for a term of 110 months in connection with his felony conviction in the U.S. District Court, Southern West Virginia.
It also calls attention to Warren’s conviction by jury April 8, 2009 of two felony drug counts in Mingo County Circuit Court, and that he awaits sentencing in such convictions.
The 1996 conviction and sentence in the United States District Court were for a crime punishable by confinement in a penitentiary and preceded commission of the felony violations giving rise to the convictions in Mingo County Circuit Court April 8, 2009.
Sparks said, under the West Virginia Habitual Criminal Act, the state could double Warren’s sentence if he is found to have committed past crimes which have resulted in prison time.
Warren, who was represented in the Wednesday trial by Attorney Kathy C. Sturgell, was remanded to Southwestern Regional Jail pending sentencing. The jury deliberated five years to bring in its verdicts on three of the counts.
The retrial of Warren on Count IV will be scheduled at a later date, said Sparks, who appeared for the state in the local trial.
The Mingo County prosecuting attorney’s office has obtained felony convictions in 55 cases in 2009.