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Kearney man's cocaine distribution sentence enhanced after being found a habitual criminal
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Kearney man's cocaine distribution sentence enhanced after being found a habitual criminal

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KEARNEY — A Kearney man has been sent to prison for a minimum of 10 years for felony distribution of cocaine.

Daniel J. Rodriguez, 32, of Kearney was sentenced Friday in Buffalo County District Court to 10-15 years in prison for the drug charge and for being a habitual criminal.

Daniel J. Rodriguez

Daniel J. Rodriguez

During a trial with Judge John Marsh, Rodriguez was found guilty of distributing cocaine, not less than 10 grams but not more than 28 grams.

On Friday, during Rodriguez’s sentencing hearing deputy Buffalo County Attorney Patrick Lee also argued Rodriguez was a habitual criminal. Court records indicate Rodriguez previously was convicted of burglary in district court in 2009 and sentenced to four to six years in prison, and in 2013 convicted of attempted possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person in Phelps County District Court, and sentenced to 20-36 months in prison.

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State law says anyone who has been twice convicted of a crime, sentenced to a year or more and committed to prison can be deemed an habitual criminal.

Marsh agreed with Lee that Rodriguez was a habitual criminal, and gave Rodriguez 270 days credit for time already served in jail.

Rodriguez was arrested in November 2019 following a traffic stop for speeding in Kearney in the 3200 block of Second Avenue. Rodriguez was driving under suspension at the time, court records indicate.

During a search of Rodriguez’s vehicle Kearney police seized 28.46 grams, or just more than 1 ounce, of cocaine.


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