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ROANOKE — An ex-police officer from Carroll County, who worked in Pulaski and Radford, pleaded guilty today to federal charges he sold and used methamphetamine in his patrol car while in uniform and on duty.
Christopher Franklin Bond, 32, a two-year police veteran of Pulaski's force who quit in June 2009 after he was charged with possessing and trying to buy meth in Wythe and Carroll counties, admitted in U.S. District Court in Roanoke to conspiring to distribute more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. Bond, free on $10,000 bail, faces 5 to 40 years imprisonment under federal guidelines when he is sentenced Oct. 4.
Bond, who was a Radford officer in 2006 before he was hired in Pulaski, smoked dope in his patrol car with fellow users and at the homes of other meth users while in uniform, according to a summary of the case that Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlene Day presented in court. She said he arrived dealer's homes in his patrol car, went inside in uniform with his service pistol, then sat down to take drugs before buying meth and marijuana.
Bond was involved with drugs while working in both the Radford and Pulaski police departments, Day said.
"I don't even know where to start," Bond said in court today. "I feel like I'm a good person who got caught up in a bad situation. I started to use methamphetamine and it got out of control ... I did not sell this for profit. I sold it so the person who was selling to me would use with me."
He took issue with being characterized as a drug dealer, saying he was a user who pooled money with other users to buy drugs. He agreed he distributed methamphetamine as defined by the law.
"The addiction to harmful drugs, such as methamphetamine, has become both a law enforcement and public health crisis," U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy said in the statement. "We must do everything we can to prosecute those individuals, like these three defendants, who profit from the addiction of others by buying and selling illegal drugs. We must also be vigilant in making efforts to help those battling addiction on a daily basis."
Bond's attorney, Everett Shockley of Dublin, said his client pleaded guilty to avoid a possible charge of carrying a firearm while committing a drug crime and to avoid a jury trial.
Relatives who were in the courtroom to support Bond said he has stopped using drugs. The federal probation office reported that Bond has had no problems while remaining free since his arrest last year. Bond, who lives in Carroll County, said he is working at a call center in Galax.
The state charges against Bond were dropped as federal authorities took his case.
Bond asked U.S. District Judge James Turk if the five-year minimum in sentencing guidelines is firm. Turk said he'll take into consideration how much cooperation Bond gives to federal investigators.
Also pleading guilty today were Bond's two co-defendants, John Daniel Cantrell and Kelly Ann Porter, both 25 and residents of Max Meadows. Cantrell and Porter said they each had conspired to distribute more than 500 grams of meth, a larger amount than that assigned to Bond and an amount that carries a minimum 10-year sentence.
Day said Cantrell and Porter pooled money with Bond to get meth. Like Bond, they are scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 4.