Convicted Shelby County drug dealer Juanita Briggs get total of 118 years prison time

On February 8, 2019, in the 123rd Judicial District Court, Honorable LeAnn Rafferty presiding, a number of criminal matters were dealt with in addition to the Court’s domestic (family law) docket

Shelby County District Attorney Stephen Shires resolved and finalized 14 cases.  This included State v. Newsome, Cause Number 19-CR-21021, where the defendant received 12 years incarceration in the Texas Department of Corrections Criminal Justice Institutional Division for Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.

In addition, Defendant Juanita Briggs received substantial prison time, cumulatively 118 years incarceration in the Texas Department of Corrections Criminal Justice Institutional Division and/or State Jail Facility, in the following cases:

Cause No. 15-CR-19383, Possession of a Controlled Substance, 2 Years;

Cause No. 18-CR-20540, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, 35 Years;

Cause No. 18-CR-20541, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, 12 Months (State Jail Facility);

Cause No. 18-CR-20599, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, 20 Years;

Cause No. 18-CR-20600, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, 20 Years;

Cause No. 18-CR-20621, Possession of a Controlled Substance, 20 Years;

Cause No. 18-CR-20982, Hindering Apprehension of a Fugitive, 10 Years; and

ork and long hours that they have put in.

Cause No. 19-CR-21068, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, 10 Years.

Shelby County District Attorney Stephen Shires sincerely thanks all the Court personnel, the ladies in the District Clerk’s office, and his office for all the hard work and hours they have put in.

Judge Rafferty offers the following insight into why and how sentences like this are arrived at:

"This past week I accepted a plea bargain agreement from a defendant giving her multiple prison sentences, running concurrently. The greatest sentence is 35 years. She was facing life in prison. She told me she wants to become a drug counselor and would like to speak to the Shelby County Drug Court participants prior to leaving to serve her sentence. The District Attorney assured this lady that any of her co-defendants would face the same plea bargain offers.

I also sentenced another defendant convicted of a drug related offense to twelve years’ in prison. I followed the plea bargain agreement the defendant, his attorney, and the State presented to me.

Yes, the penalty ranges may seem unfair, but those are set by the Legislature. For instance, criminally negligent homocide carries a 2-year maximum and some sexual assault cases only carry a 20-year maximum. When faced with sentencing a criminal defendant who a jury convicted of sexual assault, I sentenced him to the 20-year maximum.

The District Attorney’s Offices in Shelby and Panola Counties are always open to answer your questions. Please feel free to call the Court; we are limited, however, arms we are prohibited from commenting on pending criminal cases."