Pure methamphetamine

Pure methamphetamine is shown in this generic 2005 photograph provided by the U.S. Department of Justice. 

A Fairbanks man was sentenced Friday to more than seven years in prison and four years of federal probation for selling almost 75 grams of methamphetamine to a confidential informant last year.

According to court documents, Christopher Thomas Howard sold 5.8 grams of meth on Nov. 15, 2018, 13.9 grams on Dec. 6, 2018, and 55.2 grams on Jan. 3, 2019. The meth tested out as 98% pure.

Howard was arrested April 5 of this year and charged with three counts of distribution of methamphetamine. Each count carries a maximum statutory penalty of five to 40 years in prison and a $5 million fine.

Howard pleaded guilty June 21 to counts two and three with the understanding that count one would be dismissed and both the defense and prosecution would recommend a sentence at the bottom of the applicable range.

At Friday's sentencing, federal prosecutors asked that Howard be sentenced to 100 months in prison, noting he was on supervised release for a 2012 drug conviction when he made the three sales to the informant.

U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline cited what he characterized as Howard's "attitude and anti-establishment behavior."

"They say you're remorseful but I haven't seen that," Beistline said. "Everybody in that chair says they've changed. My concern is 'Why should you get any break at all?' There's been a lot of victims, innocent people who've become addicted to the drugs you were peddling."

Howard said he had "had some bad breaks" but had "learned his lesson." Beistline asked Howard what he did when he was in jail for his 2012 conviction and questioned whether he had made any attempt to better himself.

"So far your past is screaming awful loud," Beistline said before sentencing Howard to 87 months in prison.

"I cannot see giving you a lesser sentence than last time," Beistline said. "Next time you mess up, you'll be in jail for the rest of your life."

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.

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