The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Robert Eli Bernard
Monday, September 9, 2013
By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer
A Rocky Mount faces up to 80 years in prison after pleading guilty last week to manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine.
Robert Eli Bernard, 27, faces up to 40 years on each of the two charges.
As part of a plea agreement, one possession charge, one possession of ingredients used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, and one child endangerment charge were dismissed, according to Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Allen.
A second methamphetamine distribution charge was also dismissed because the prosecution's witness in the case is now deceased, Allen said.
Most of the drug charges stem from a raid on Jan. 6 when investigators with the Franklin County Sheriff's Office and Virginia State Police executed a search warrant at Bernard's residence on Edgemont Street, according to Lt. Todd Maxey.
Investigators and special agents seized equipment and chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, as well as methamphetamine, in a newly-constructed outbuilding and the kitchen of the residence, Maxey said.
Bernard was charged with child endangerment because a 9-month-old girl was inside the residence on Edgemont Street at the time of the raid.
In July, a jury found Bernard guilty of selling methamphetamine and recommended a sentence of 17 years and a fine of $50,000 for selling the drug to a confidential informant on Dec. 21, 2012.
Bernard's sentencing hearing on all the charges has been set for Oct. 3 at 9 a.m. in Franklin County Circuit Court.
Bernard will remain in the Western Virginia Regional Jail without bond in the meantime.