Florida man asks for 'mercy, leniency' for possessing 20 pounds of marijuana near Mitchell

Emmett Moore was sentenced to seven years in prison, with four years suspended for the class 3 felony of possessing 20 pounds of marijuana.

The Davison County Public Safety Center serves as the home for county lockup. (Matt Gade/Republic)
The Davison County Public Safety Center serves as the home for county lockup. (Matt Gade/Republic)

A Florida man who was charged for possessing 20 pounds of marijuana while driving through Mitchell was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison.

Emmett Moore, 56, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, was arrested in the fall for speeding, which led to a search of his vehicle. During the search, officers found 20 pounds of marijuana, according to court documents.

He faced a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison for the class three felony charge of possessing more than 10 pounds of marijuana. However, Judge Chris Giles handed down a seven-year prison sentence, with four years suspended.

"If you were transporting drugs for money, you are going to earn time in the penitentiary. That’s just how I feel," Giles said.

Prior to receiving his sentence, Moore pleaded for “leniency,” noting he was ashamed of his decision to be driving with such a high volume of marijuana.


"I would like to apologize. I take full responsibility for this, and I am very ashamed to put others in stress," Moore said. "I pray you have some leniency and mercy."

Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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