Former UC Merced student gets five years in 'Super Meth' case

Former UC student gets 5-year sentence

Jason West, a former UC Merced doctoral candidate who stole thousands of dollars of laboratory equipment from the university to manufacture methamphetamine, has been sentenced to more than five years in prison.

"I think the outcome was fair. I think the court did the appropriate thing considering the defendant was put in a position of trust out at UC Merced," said Steven Slocum, the prosecuting deputy district attorney on the case.

West, who was sentenced in Merced County Superior Court, could have been sentenced to rehabilitation, but since he had prior convictions of theft and meth use, said Slocum, he was sentenced to prison time.

West was arrested in August and charged with stealing more than $6,000 and conspiring to manufacture more than a pound of meth.

West's lawyers could not be reached for comment.

-- Jonah Owen Lamb

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