A Paducah man who declined a plea agreement for 10 years for selling blank prescription forms was found guilty Tuesday and sentenced to the maximum 20 years in prison.
Derek C. Early, 37, was indicted by a McCracken County grand jury on five counts of trafficking in prescription blanks for controlled substances. He also was accused of being a persistent felony offender.
Detective John Tolliver, the Paducah Police Department's prescription drug investigator, said an acquaintance of Early's was forging blank prescription pads from her employer and Early was selling the completed prescription blanks.
Tolliver said McCracken County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Raymond McGee offered Early a deal through which Early would plead guilty and be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Early refused.
A jury heard the case Monday in Judge Craig Clymer's Circuit Courtroom. They convicted him on all counts and recommended a five-year sentence on each of the prescription-related offenses and a 20-year sentence on the first-degree persistent felony offender charge.
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