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A 21-year-old East Lyme man who was rearrested in April while awaiting resolution of an illegal prescription drug case pleaded guilty Tuesday in New London Superior Court to two counts of possession of narcotics with intent to sell.
James R. Douglas of 22 Crossley Court will be sentenced Sept. 5 to 30 months in prison followed by three years of probation. Douglas has been held in lieu of a $100,000 bond since he was arrested by East Lyme police on April 17.
Douglas was charged initially by East Lyme police in April 2013 with transporting a large quantity of oxycodone from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Connecticut. After receiving information that Douglas and others were making a run to New York City to pick up drugs, police pulled his car over on Chesterfield Road. They conducted a search and said they found 713 oxycodone 30 mg pills, hidden in fake lint rollers and a Clorox bottle with a false bottom, more than $2,000 in cash and a black Uzi handheld stun gun that they said Douglas took with him on drug runs for protection.
The two others arrested in the case, Sean P. Connolly of Groton and Tyler Glendenning of East Lyme, both pleaded guilty in January and were sentenced to a year in prison followed by three years probation. Douglas, who had no prior criminal record, was “given a chance to be back in the community” while his case was pending, according to prosecutor David J. Smith.
Free on a written promise to appear in court, he was placed on electronic monitoring with a curfew and was screened regularly for illegal drug use. The monitoring bracelet and curfew were removed in October, and Douglas was taking college courses and working as a landscaper, according to his court file. His attorney, M. Fred DeCaprio, was trying to get him into a diversionary program for drug addicts accused of committing serious crimes.
On April 3, 2014, East Lyme Police once again found Douglas in possession of multiple pills following a traffic stop, according to Smith. He had three different types of pills for a total of 335, according to Smith.
Wearing tan prison scrubs, Douglas stood with his attorney and answered a series of questions posed by Judge Hillary B. Strackbein to ensure he understood the plea deal he accepted. She told him the goal of the deal “is to make sure you’re not on drugs or helping other people to be on drugs.”