FRONT ROYAL – A town man must serve jail time for dealing heroin in Warren County last October.

Judge Clifford L. Athey Jr. sentenced Glenn Eugene Sovereign Jr. in Warren County Circuit Court on Tuesday to 20 years in a state penitentiary for committing two counts of distribution of a controlled substance on Oct. 26, 2017. Specifically, Athey sentenced Sovereign to 10 years in prison for each count. Athey suspended seven years and seven months of one term and all time for the second. The judge ordered Sovereign to complete three years of supervised probation upon release from incarceration.

Sovereign pleaded guilty to the charges per an agreement reached between his lawyer, William Olean, and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Fleming. The agreement left Sovereign’s punishment up to the court.

Sovereign also admitted to violating the terms of the probation that the court had imposed as a term of a previously suspended sentence. Athey on Monday revoked a two-year suspended sentence and re-suspended the term except for one year that the judge ordered Sovereign to serve, in addition to time imposed on the most recent drug convictions.

Olean called his client’s sister, Marilyn Sovereign, to testify on the defendant’s behalf. She told the court that the defendant could come to live with her upon his release from incarceration. She said she also has plans to have her brother work odd jobs.

When asked about her brother’s substance abuse problem, the witness testified that his addiction started after he sustained back injuries from falling off a roof while at work. She testified that her brother first became addicted to prescription painkillers and then moved on to other drugs.

The defendant spent more than a year in jail, during which time he completed a drug-treatment course, the witness testified.

Olean asked Marilyn Sovereign if she thought her brother could kick the drug habit.

“I think if he has the right tools he can, and the right support,” she said.

Charles Foster also testified for the defense and told the court the defendant likely could come to work for his tree service.

The prosecutor provided a proffer of the evidence the commonwealth would have presented had the case gone to trial. Fleming said Glenn Sovereign sold drugs to at least three people in October 2017. The defendant drove to Baltimore, bought heroin and brought it back to Warren County, where he sold the drugs, Fleming said.

Sentencing guidelines recommended Glenn Sovereign serve between one year and two years and five months of active incarceration. The defendant also had three years and seven months of suspended time over his head that the court could have imposed.

Olean asked the court to sentence his client to the low end of the guidelines. His client accepted responsibility for the crimes, Olean said.

Fleming asked the court to impose a longer sentence, arguing that the defendant sold heroin – a drug known to have killed people in the community.

Contact Alex Bridges at abridges@nvdaily.com