Bradenton man in drug court for pot possession

Drug court lies between a postponed sentence and freedom from prosecution for a Bradenton man.

The sentencing of Justin Gargett, 24, for possessing marijuana in Holmes Beach was deferred July 18 by 12th Circuit Judge Janette Dunnigan after Gargett pleaded no contest and agreed to enter an intervention contract. Dunnigan, who retired in 2017, was substituting in Judge Gilbert Smith Jr.’s courtroom.

The drug court contract required Gargett’s plea and that he abstain from alcohol or drugs — including medical marijuana — undergo treatment, attend court dates, pay court fees and costs and report monthly to a probation officer.

Gargett was arrested in May after a Holmes Beach police officer found 35 grams of marijuana in his vehicle. HBPD pulled over Gargett’s vehicle for nearly hitting an officer on Manatee Avenue.

Gargett also was ticketed for violating the move-over law but that case closed when the citation was consolidated into the drug case.

According to the contract, the state will dismiss Gargett’s case if he completes the drug court program. If he fails to complete the program, a judge may sentence him.

Possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

As of Oct. 29, Gargett attended August, September and October court dates and paid $1,080 of $1,768 in court-ordered fines and assessments.

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