25 Years in Meth Conviction

8-4-04 - A Grayson County jury sentenced a Sherman man to 25 years behind bars this week for making and dealing meth.

Dale Lee Stoff, Jr., 43, was convicted of Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, Methamphetamine.

On August 17, 2002, while patrolling, Denison officer Shane Kumler witnessed a traffic violation and attempted to perform a traffic stop. The vehicle accelerated and attempting to flee. The officer followed the vehicle, which then stopped and the driver exited and began to flee on foot. While Officer Kumler continued the chase on foot, Officer Kenny Newton stood by the vehicle. A neighbor came out of his home and informed Officer Newton to which house that vehicle belonged.

Officers went to that house attempting to locate the suspect, and found what appeared to be a methamphetamine lab, along with several containers of methamphetamine in different “cooking” stages. The Denison Police Department’s Narcotics Investigators where notified and upon gaining a search warrant, the Investigators searched the property and found methamphetamine, as well as, numerous ingredients and utensils used in the “cooking” process. After the Investigators completed the clean up, the evidence was sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab and was determined to contain more than 40 grams of Methamphetamine. Two occupants of the house, Dale Stoff and Arvel Lee Price, were arrested and charged with manufacture of methamphetamine. Arvel Price was sentenced to two years in prison in January of 2003.

The 25 year sentence against Stoff was handed down by 336th District Judge Ray Grisham, after Stoff elected to have the judge set his sentence. The sentence was the minimum available to the court after the jury found true the state’s allegation that Stoff had twice before been convicted of felony offenses. Stoff’s prior convictions, for Theft in 1977 and Burglary of a Habitation in 1993, raised the punishment range on the drug offense to 25 years to 99 years or life in prison.

Assistant County Attorney, Karla R. Baugh prosecuted the case. Ms. Baugh asked the jury to send a message to people who manufacture drugs that the community will not tolerate methamphetamine in our community. Baugh argued that the methamphetamine problem in our community could only be dealt with one case at a time, one defendant at a time. The jury deliberated approximately twenty minutes before finding Stoff guilty. Denison attorney Alfred Weisberg represented Stoff.

“It is always good to get a lengthy prison sentence on a repeat offender, especially in a methamphetamine case,” said Grayson County Attorney Joe Brown. “We want every methamphetamine cook to know that prison is the end result of what they are doing. Methamphetamine destroys lives and is one of the worst problems we have in this county. We are going to keep prosecuting these cases as fast as we can.”