Gully sentenced to 45 years on drug charges

A Fort Dodge man who was convicted of multiple drug and gun charges in March has been sentenced to spend, at most, 45 years in prison.

A Webster County jury convicted Bryce Gully, 24, on March 2 of eight charges relating to a Sept. 28, 2016, early morning drug raid by the Fort Dodge/Webster County Special Emergency Response Team.

Gully’s convictions include:

• Possession with intent to deliver cocaine while in the immediate control of a firearm, as a second or subsequent offender, and as a habitual felon, a class C felony;

• Possession with intent to deliver crack cocaine while in the immediate control of a firearm, as a second or subsequent offender, and as a habitual felon, a class C felony;

• Possession with intent to deliver marijuana while in the immediate control of a firearm, as a second or subsequent offender, and as a habitual felon, a class D felony;

• Two counts of failure to affix drug tax stamp, as a second or subsequent offender, and as a habitual felon, a class D felony; and

• Three counts of possession of a firearm as a felon, as a habitual felon, a class D felony.

At Gully’s sentencing Tuesday morning, prosecutors asked Chief District Court Judge Kurt Wilke to sentence Gully to a maximum sentence of 90 years on the possession with intent to deliver charges.

Webster County Attorney Jennifer Benson argued for the lengthy sentence because of Gully’s criminal record. She highlighted that record in court, which includes a willful injury conviction in 2009 and a delivery of marijuana conviction in 2010.

Both of those convictions happened when Gully was 16 and 17 years old, respectively. He was charged and convicted as an adult in both cases.

“This defendant’s criminal history since he was 16 years old speaks to his dangerousness and likeliness to reoffend,” Benson said.

She added that Gully’s previous prison sentences have apparently not worked at correcting his behavior, citing a lengthy prison sentence as the most appropriate option in this case.

“Our attempts at rehabilitation have been lost on Mr. Gully,” Benson said.

Gully’s attorney, Doug Cook, of Jewell, argued that if Wilke sentenced Gully to the maximum possible term on each conviction it would total more than 300 years in prison.

He called it “cruel and unusual punishment.”

“We do have eight charges,” Cook said. “They are different types of drugs, but they’re all from the same incident.”

He added that the charges are Gully’s first serious offenses since he turned 18 and that the court should run the sentences concurrently, not consecutively.

“Under Mr. Gully’s history, this is clearly excessive and cruel and unusual,” Cook said.

Gully spoke on his own behalf, asking Wilke to not sentence him to the maximum.

“I don’t have a bad criminal history at all,” Gully said. “All of that happened when I was a juvenile. You live and learn.”

He also said that there is no specific victim in his case, as he was convicted of possessing illegal drugs and illegal guns. He was never charged with harming a specific person.

“What makes me a threat to society if I didn’t hurt anybody?” Gully asked.

Wilke spoke to Gully prior to sentencing him and highlighted a letter Gully had sent to him where he talked about how he has a family and wants to be there for them.

The judge said he couldn’t ignore Gully’s criminal history.

“Your prior criminal history is what’s haunting you here today,” Wilke said.

He then sentenced Gully to the following terms:

• 30 years in prison on each of the possession with intent to deliver convictions. Those sentences were ordered to run concurrent to each other, for a total maximum sentence of 30 years.

• 15 years on each of the gun convictions. Those sentences were also ordered to run concurrent to each other, but consecutive to the possession with intent to deliver convictions.

• Wilke suspended Gully’s prison sentence on the failure to affix a drug tax stamp convictions. That would have been 15 years on each charge.

In all, Wilke sentenced Gully to a maximum possible sentence of 45 years in prison.

Benson said, because of mandatory minimums, Gully must serve 13 years in prison before he’s eligible for parole.

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