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Mercedian sentenced to 4 years in prison

Alfonzo Lavon Turner, 33, of Merced received a four-year state prison term during sentencing in Merced County Superior Court on charges of trafficking rock cocaine and marijuana.

Deputy District Attorney Steven Slocum, who prosecuted the case, said Turner was sentenced by Commissioner Harry Jacobs. The prison sentence was imposed mainly because Turner was arrested 12 years ago on robbery charges in Alabama, Slocum said.

Officer Rogelio Rodriguez of the Merced Police Department found about five grams of cocaine base and marijuana in Turner's pocket in August in the Loughborough Drive area.

Turner also had $531 in small-denomination bills, a digital scale and packaging materials in the vehicle he was driving.

Slocum said at the jury trial that Turner testified that he smokes "cavi," a mixture of rock cocaine and marijuana, to "self-medicate" for a painful eye condition that he has suffered from for years.

Slocum said that drug sales in the Loughborough Drive and Denver Avenue areas of Merced are out of control.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209 385-2485