'Little Dribblers' Coach, a convicted East Texas crack dealer, r - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

'Little Dribblers' Coach, a convicted East Texas crack dealer, receives sentence

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Joey Givens. Source:  Henderson County District Attorney's Office. Joey Givens. Source: Henderson County District Attorney's Office.

From the Henderson County District Attorney's Office:

HENDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Joey Tamojermone Givens, 36, of Malakoff, was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison by 3rd District Court Judge Mark Calhoon after two days of testimony.  Givens pled guilty to three, second degree felony cases of possession of a controlled substance back in February of this year.

District Attorney Scott McKee and Assistant District Attorney Bridget Bateman prosecuted the case.

Givens was investigated back in May of 2009 after members of the Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) received information from a confidential informant that Givens was trafficking in crack cocaine out of his apartment in Malakoff.  DEU investigator Kenny Collard had Givens under surveillance when Givens committed two traffic violations on HWY 31 near Malakoff.  A traffic stop was made on Givens by then Lieutenant Botie Hillhouse (now Major) and DEU Investigator Darrel Waller, both of the Henderson County Sheriff's Office. 

During the traffic stop, Investigators found over 20 grams of what they described as "recently cooked" crack cocaine on Givens.  Based on the traffic stop and the information from the confidential informant, investigators obtained a search warrant from 392nd District Judge Carter Tarrance for Givens' apartment. 

On the same day as the traffic stop, investigators from the Henderson County DEU, Sheriff's Office and District Attorney's Office executed the search warrant and discovered over 100 grams of powered and crack cocaine as well as implements used to process powered cocaine into crack cocaine.  Based on the cocaine found during the search warrant, Investigators obtained another warrant for Givens.  This arrest warrant was served on Givens on June 3rd, 2009 after Givens bonded out of jail on the first cocaine charge.  As investigators David Faught and Ronny Halbert attempted to place Givens into hand restraints, he managed to break loose and flee on foot down Highway 31 in Malakoff.  During the foot pursuit, Givens, according to his own testimony, dropped two baggies of crack cocaine prior to being apprehended just a few minutes later.

Givens was subsequently indicted by the Henderson County Grand Jury for three charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver which totaled well over 140 grams of cocaine.

During the punishment hearing, Givens' Attorney called numerous witnesses who testified about Givens' contributions to society and the charitable work he had done since he was a child.  Givens also coached Little Dribblers Basketball and helped as a volunteer coach for Girls track in Malakoff.

During closing arguments, Givens' defense attorney highlighted his client's civic work and the fact that he had no criminal history prior to 2009 when asking the judge to place him on probation. 

District Attorney Scott McKee vigorously argued against probation and indicated that "Givens' selfless acts in serving the community were outweighed by his selfish acts in trafficking narcotics which acts to destroy the community". 

Givens also testified during the hearing and was extensively cross examined by McKee and questioned by the judge.  "He is not being honest with this Court, or his family" said McKee in support of his argument to send Givens to prison. 

While pronouncing the sentence against Givens, Judge Calhoon credited Givens for his civic duty accomplishments as well as his conduct while out on bond and awaiting trial.  However, in the end the judge could not overlook the fact that Givens, while out on bond for the cocaine found during the traffic stop, was caught again just a few weeks later with more cocaine.

Judge Calhoon sentenced Givens to 15 years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Institutional Division on one charge and placed him on 10 years community supervision on the other two, ensuring that if Givens makes parole in the next 10 years, he would be supervised by the probation department.

District Attorney Scott McKee credited the work of the Drug Enforcement Unit and his own investigators with the conviction and sentence.  According to McKee, the late District Attorney Investigator Jody Miller performed numerous hours of work on the case and was present during the execution of the search warrant.  "I know Jody would have been proud of the result" said McKee.  "He put in a lot of hours and hard work during the entire investigation from the beginning of the surveillance until the arrest.  I know he would have been proud".  

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