McGee receives suspended sentence, probation in school drug sting

Payne housed in drug program,

Gaffney slated for sentencing

By Neal Putnam

Skylor Rocky McGee, 20, received a suspended 210-day jail term and was placed on three years probation after he pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for sale to an undercover sheriff’s deputy at Ramona High School.

McGee, of Ramona, received credit for eight days spent in jail after he and three others were arrested April 30 in the undercover busts. He was fined $779, court records show.

After his arrest, McGee’s probation was revoked on a 2012 case in which he pleaded guilty to receiving stolen property by giving a juvenile burglar a ride home following a series of publicized burglaries in Ramona.

San Diego Superior Court Judge Laura Halgren reinstated McGee on probation in the 2012 case on the same terms and conditions. She ordered McGee to complete a drug program in his drug case, and to register as a substance abuse offender with law enforcement.

Deputy District Attorney Jorge Del Portillo asked Halgren to order McGee to perform 20 days of public service such as trash pick-up, but she declined. Court records say McGee’s offense in this case made him ineligible to receive a prison term.

“I did possess marijuana for purposes of sale, knowing it to be marijuana, a usable amount. I did possess concentrated cannabis, knowing it to be concentrated cannabis,” wrote McGee with his lawyer’s assistance.

Meanwhile, Christopher Forest Payne, 19, was released from jail in July after receiving a one-year term following his guilty plea to selling marijuana and a tranquilizer to an undercover sheriff’s deputy.

Payne, of Ramona, was released early as he was eligible to be housed in a drug program on terms of three years probation. He was fined $574 by Halgren and ordered to register as a substance abuse offender.

His attorney, Patrick McCoy, said Payne had a medical problem and was using marijuana for medicinal purposes. The judge told him he could not use marijuana on probation despite any medical claim.

“There’s too much temptation,” said Halgren.

The judge dismissed the remaining charges, which included two counts of transportation of marijuana, two counts of possession of marijuana for sale, and one count of selling marijuana after Payne pleaded guilty to two counts.

The undercover officer purchased three grams of marijuana from Payne for $30 at a fast food parking lot on Main Street on Feb. 22. She also bought one tranquilizer for $40 from Payne at another parking lot on Main Street, according to court records.

Records say she bought $20 worth of marijuana from McGee on Ramona High’s Hanson Lane campus on March 25 and $25 worth of the same drug on April 10 on campus. McGee is not a student there.

The undercover officer posed as a Ramona High School senior from December 2012 to late April, and other deputies posed as students at other North County high schools.

Maxwell Gaffney, 19, of Ramona, will be sentenced Aug. 1 after he pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. He is expected to receive probation and remains free on his own recognizance.

The fourth defendant, a 16-year-old girl, is being prosecuted in Juvenile Court. Because she is a minor, her case is not public record.

   
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