Harmon to serve 10 years

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Defense attorney and dozens who signed a petition requested leniency for a Woodlawn man convicted on federal drug charges.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

ROANOKE — Dozens of citizens petitioned the federal court for sentencing leniency in the illegal drug case against Thomas Glen Harmon, 44, of Woodlawn.
Dozens of signatures on petitions were submitted to U.S. Court Judge Glen Conrad in Roanoke at the Aug. 29 sentencing hearing for Harmon.
Authorities had charged Harmon with conspiracy to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine, a schedule II substance. He pleaded guilty to the charge in May, according to court documents.
“We feel the case against Mr. Harmon is based on the hearsay of individuals who have attempted to gain the favor of the court and have their sentence reduced,” the petition said. “Mr. Harmon has been recovered from his addiction for two years now and is contributing positively to society.”
Harmon’s defense attorney, John S. Edwards of Roanoke, also submitted certificates of completion of alcohol and substance abuse programs, as well as several character reference letters.
This included a document showing that Harmon had completed the Mount Rogers “Alcohol Safety Action Program” and substance abuse counseling back in May 2009, documents show.
Edwards argued that the evidence shows that Harmon had been free of his addition to meth since June 8, 2009, when he was arrested for possession.
Harmon has pleaded guilty to the charge, the defense attorney noted.
“This was almost two years prior to his arrest for the [current] offense, which was based entirely on evidence predating June 8, 2009,” Edwards wrote. “Indeed, the evidence shows that he remained sober, church-going and productive since June 8, 2009. Therefore, the arrest on the federal indictment in March of 2011 came as a complete surprise, after almost two years of rehabilitation.”
Harmon’s cooperation with authorities merited a lighter sentence, the defense attorney said. He asked the court to consider the evidence of rehabilitation to support a lesser sentence.
Records show that Judge Conrad did grant the defense’s motion for a more lenient sentence than federal guidelines suggest, based on Harmon’s rehabilitation efforts.
The court imposed 120 months in federal prison with 60 months of supervised release for Harmon as well as a $1,000 fine.