Meth dealer to serve 1 year

GREENFIELD — A judge decided Wednesday an admitted methamphetamine dealer will spend a year behind bars followed by nine years on probation, citing his family’s need to have the young man work in their business and their willingness to comply with the terms of his punishment.

Gurinder Khera, 20, of Greenfield, who last month pleaded guilty to a Level 4 felony charge of dealing methamphetamine and a Class A misdemeanor of carrying a handgun without a license, will spend the next year in either the Hancock County Jail or an Indiana Department of Correction facility, Hancock County Superior Court Judge Terry Snow said.

Khera then will spend a nine years on probation, fulfilling the terms of the 10-year sentence he agreed to serve as part of a deal with prosecutors.

If Khera violates the terms of his probation, he will spend the remainder of his sentence incarcerated, Snow said in court Wednesday.

Khera was arrested in October after officers raided his home in Copeland Farms subdivision and found narcotic drugs, including methamphetamine and cocaine, and drug paraphernalia, such as scales and packaging material, in his bedroom.

The amount of each drug and the types of paraphernalia found suggest Khera was dealing drugs for some time, police said.

Crying from the defendant’s table during a sentencing hearing Wednesday, Khera told the judge he had brought shame on his family and he was doing what he could to repair their trust.

The plea agreement prosecutors forged with Khera said the man would serve a 10-year sentence with no more than four years being spent in a jail or prison. That left Snow to make the final determination about where and for how long the defendant would be locked up.

The court heard from members of Khera’s family, who said they noticed a change in Khera in early 2015 when he began regularly using drugs.

But since he was arrested in October, Khera has made an effort to better his life and has stopped using, the defendant’s brother told the judge.

The family immigrated to the United States from India in the 1990s and opened a restaurant in Henry County five years ago. They told the judge they rely on Khera as a staff member, and working without him would be a great burden on the family business. The defendant has taken only one day off in the last four months, family members said.

Detectives watched Khera’s home for several months and intercepted several suspicious packages en route to his home in the 900 block of Sheets Court, including one containing a handgun.

Hancock County Deputy Prosecutor John Keiffner tried to question Khera about those packages in court Wednesday, but the defendant’s attorney, David Sadler, protested, and questioning was stopped.

Khera was originally charged with a Level 3 felony of dealing methamphetamine along with six other counts related to drug possession and dealing.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.