Ryan Keith Mason was sentenced to 68 years in prison on August 16, 2013. The 41 year old Italy resident was convicted of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver by an Ellis County jury.
Because of two prior final felony convictions, the range of punishment in this case was 35 to 99 years/life imprisonment. Mason also had 12 prior misdemeanor and felony convictions including eight drug-related felony convictions. At the time of his arrest, Mason was on parole for a 15-year sentence he received in 2006 for possession of controlled substance with intent to deliver.
“I want to extend my appreciation for their cooperation to the personnel from the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office and County and District Attorney’s Office.” said Chief Diron Hill of the Italy Police Department. “Because of their dedication to prosecute these types of drug crimes, we are able to reduce other associated crimes and keep our community safer.”
According to a press release from the Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office, on March 22, 2012, investigators from the Ellis County Special Investigation Unit executed two felony arrest warrants on Mason and a search warrant at his residence. Mason was living in a shed behind his mother’s home which is located next to Italy High School on Park Street in Italy. At that time, Mason was arrested and placed in the back seat of an Italy police car. He had $1,360 in cash in his wallet and small plastic bags commonly used for distribution of drugs inside his pants pocket.
Later, a bag weighing 13.18 grams of methamphetamine was found on the back seat next to Mason.
Inside the shed where Mason was living, investigators located a police scanner and digital scale. There were also two cameras outside the shed with a live feed displayed on a television inside the shed. When Mason arrived at the Ellis County jail, he told the deputy that he had a pipe in his crotch. The pipe placed inside a skillet handle holder was then retrieved.
In the press release from the County and District Attorney’s Office, they thanked the Italy Police Department and Ellis County Special Investigation Unit for their assistance in this case.
“We want to thank the jury in this case for their hard work and attention in arriving at a fair verdict of guilty and for a just and appropriate punishment for this defendant,” said Assistant County and District Attorneys Amy Nguyen and Ricky Sipes, prosecutors on the case.