NEW BOSTON, Texas–A Bowie County jury sentenced a habitual drug offender from Texarkana to life in prison Wednesday and assessed a maximum $10,000 fine.
Jason Allen Massey, 44, faced an enhanced punishment range on a charge of possession of a controlled substance, one to four grams, because of numerous prior convictions for drug-related crimes. Massey was convicted following a one-day trial before 102nd District Judge Jeff Addison at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.
Assistant District Attorney Bradley Akins told TXK Today on Thursday that his office wants to “thank the local Texarkana Texas Police Dept. for protecting our community and taking a career drug dealer off the streets.”
“The District Attorney’s Office cannot thank the citizens of Bowie county enough for their support of local law enforcement,” Akins said of the jury’s verdict. “These officers work for the benefit of all of us in the community and this jury showed their support for that work in this case.”
Massey was arrested Jan. 7, 2022, shortly after midnight by officers who pulled him over for a traffic violation in the area of W. 7th and Nettie Streets, according to a probable cause affidavit. Massey was holding a plastic baggie in his lap that contained methamphetamine when officers approached him as he sat in the driver’s seat.
Because of his prior felony convictions, prosecutors were able to increase the punishment range Massey faced from that of a third-degree felony, two to ten years, to that of a first-degree felony, five to 99 or life. Akins said the jury opted for a maximum sentence after hearing testimony regarding Massey’s prior criminal history.
Massey was represented by Texarkana lawyer Shorty Barrett.