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Posted: 5:20 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013
By Ken Lemon
LINCOLN COUNTY, N.C. —
A teenager arrested in a drug roundup in October may get probation. The charge marks his second drug bust in a four-month period. Robert Beal, 19, told a judge Wednesday he is done dealing drugs. Beal was one of several people charged during Operation Route 66 last October. The operation was the Lincoln County sheriff's aggressive roundup of those suspected of selling to undercover officers.
"It was life-changing. I do know that," Beal said. It wasn't Beal's first arrest. Police arrested the high school student three months earlier for selling marijuana.
"It was kind of scary because I had never been in trouble with the law before," Beal said. He spent three days in jail. He said he thought about his past and what he wanted for his future. "I sat and thought about it the whole time, what I did wrong," Beal said. Beal said he is not angry at the officers who arrested him on felony marijuana charges twice. "It wasn't his fault that he come and picked me up, it was the things I done in the past that caused me to be picked up," he said. He said that situation taught him he needed new friends, but he doesn't blame his old ones. "I done the crime, you know?" he said. Beal was facing as much as a year and a half in prison. After questioning him Wednesday, the judge told the teenager he can get probation if he stays out of trouble. Beal said he will take the deal. He said once he has finished high school, he wants to start a landscaping business.
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