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Suspected marijuana grower pleads guilty

Plea deal calls for Scott W. Eberhardt to serve 14 months in prison

Posted: July 6, 2012 - 1:18pm  |  Updated: July 7, 2012 - 11:06pm

A Juneau man has been convicted of drug misconduct for possessing oxycodone and 25 or more marijuana plants.

Scott W. Eberhardt, 28, changed his plea to guilty Thursday in Juneau Superior Court.

Police said they first arrested Eberhardt in December when they seized 181 marijuana plants from his residence on North Douglas Highway. Prosecutors said a real estate agent called police when she discovered the marijuana grow behind a newly sheetrocked area in the basement.

Eberhardt was arrested again in April when he was out on bail after authorities conducted a controlled delivery of a package, which was addressed to Eberhardt, to his new residence in the Mendenhall Valley. Prosecutors said the package contained tablets of oxycodone hydrochloride, which is a painkiller commonly known as Roxicodone. Upon executing the search warrant, police also found and seized 61 rooted marijuana plants found in his bedroom and bathroom, prosecutors said.

Eberhardt was indicted in April in connection to the latter drug bust. He was indicted on four counts of fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance for knowingly possessing oxycodone, 25 or more marijuana plants and four ounces or more of marijuana, and for knowingly maintaining a residence used for keeping or distributing controlled substances.

Those are all class ‘C’ felonies which are punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a $50,000 fine.

On Thursday, Eberhardt pleaded guilty as charged for the 25 or more plants, and he also pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted fourth-degree drug misconduct for the oxycodone. Attempted fourth-degree drug misconduct is a class ‘A’ misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

The other two counts listed in the indictment were dismissed in accordance with a proposed plea deal reached with prosecutors.

The proposed plea agreement calls for Eberhardt to serve 24 months with 20 suspended for the felony, and six months flat for the misdemeanor.

Eberhardt also pleaded guilty to violating conditions of release for breaking the law while out on bail. That’s a class ‘B’ misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in prison and a $2,000 fine. The plea agreement calls for Eberhardt to serve 60 days for that offense.

Eberhardt had already previously pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in connection to the December Douglas Highway arrest. The new plea deal calls for him to serve 60 days in that case and to pay restitution to the owner of the property.

In total, Eberhardt is to serve 14 months in prison with an additional 20 months in suspended time hanging over his head. He is also to be on probation for three years after his release.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Louis Menendez accepted Eberhardt’s pleas and will decide whether to accept the plea deal during a sentencing hearing scheduled for Aug. 15.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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