By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A Yukon felon will serve six months in the county jail as part of a 10-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to drug and identity theft charges.
Brandon Austin Leeper, 33, was sentenced Dec. 21 in Canadian County District Court after investigators in early August 2021 discovered a small illegal marijuana grow operation, along with illicit narcotics and a stolen credit card, inside his Yukon-area home.
Prosecutors on Aug. 10 formally charged Leeper with cultivation of a controlled substance, ID theft, unlawful possession of controlled dangerous substance, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
Those felony charges were punishable by up to 17 years in prison and fines totaling $152,000.
At a Dec. 21st court hearing before Special Judge Charles Gass, Leeper entered guilty pleas to all four counts after the first count was amended to possession with intent to distribute.
The defendant appeared via video from the Canadian County Jail and was represented in the courtroom by his attorney J.P. Hill.
After receiving testimony, Judge Gass handed Leeper a 10-year suspended sentence except for the first six months to serve in the Canadian County Jail.
All counts will run concurrently. Leeper – who has been housed at the county jail since being booked Aug. 2 – was given credit for time served.
After his release from jail, the convict will be supervised by the state Department of Corrections through community sentencing.
Leeper was growing six cannabis plants at his home without a medical marijuana license, according to court documents.
Canadian County prosecutors accused Leeper of having methamphetamine and heroin in his possession and control, along with items used by drug abusers – glass pipes, water bongs and aluminum foil.
He had obtained an Oklahoma City woman’s credit card information without her consent intending to use the card to “obtain credit, goods or service” in the victim’s name, court documents show.
Leeper was charged after Canadian County sheriff’s investigators and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) personnel on Aug. 2 served a search warrant at a house in the 12300 block of Newgate Drive.
“In the northwest bedroom of the home was a small marijuana grow house,” according to a probable cause affidavit signed by sheriff’s investigator Michael Bondurant. “It contained six medium sized marijuana plants. There was artificial light set up and they were contained in a small tent and looked very healthy.”
Since nobody in the home possessed an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority medical marijuana card, investigators determined it was an illegal grow operation.
Investigators found “numerous glass pipes and glass water bongs with visible residue” in the living room, the court affidavit indicates.
“There were also numerous used empty plastic baggies and new unused plastic baggies. There (were) small new squares of aluminum foil and used burnt foil all laying on the living room coffee table.”
Glass pipes tested positive for meth, a piece of foil tested positive for heroin and a baggie tested positive for cocaine inside the house, according to the Bondurant’s affidavit.
Investigators allegedly found a stolen credit card “along with a notebook with handwritten credit card numbers from numerous people that had expiration dates and the CCV codes written next to the numbers.”
Leeper has previous felony convictions in Oklahoma and Custer counties for possession of controlled substance, eluding a police officer, second-degree burglary, and possession of stolen property.
Leeper served about 4-1/2 years in state prison during separate stints between July 2013 and April 2019, Oklahoma Department of Corrections’ records show.