Plea deal reached in Wilder drug case
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | March 04,2014
PHOTO BY ERIC FRANCIS
Derik Rogers, 42, of Wilder,has reached a plea deal with prosecutors on charges of possessing hallucinogenic mushrooms.
WILDER — A Wilder homeowner whose residence was the focus of police surveillance and a subsequent drug raid back in June reached a plea deal with the state that will allow him to avoid jail.
A felony charge was dropped, and in exchange Derik Rogers, 42, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of possessing a hallucinogen before he was sentenced to zero to two years as part of a so-called “community furlough sentence,” a new punishment that was just recently made possible by the Vermont Legislature.
The new sentence structure puts offenders immediately back in their own homes, but the fact that they are technically on furlough means that state Department of Corrections officials can immediately put offenders in jail if they discover any violations, rather than having to go through a judicial process.
During Rogers’ sentencing hearing recently his defense attorney, Fred Glover, told the court, “Mr. Rogers has a lot going for him. He does own his house and he has a steady full-time job.”
When it came his turn to address Judge Karen Carroll, Rodgers told her, “I tried those mushrooms once and I didn’t really like them so I put them in the closet for about a year and that was where the police found them.”
Although Rogers owned the house on Depot Street, Rogers actually faced the least serious drug charges out of the five people who police arrested there during last year’s raid. Police said the other four individuals staying in the residence were found with everything from heroin and cocaine to digital scales, multiple cellphones and nearly $8,000 in cash.
Rogers has a previous criminal record with three felony convictions, including one in 2008 for possession of marijuana.