One of two brothers pleads guilty in Pleasanton meth lab case

Charges dismissed against second brother

Robert Magoon, one of two brothers accused of running a meth lab out of his Pleasanton home has accepted a plea deal that calls for no jail time.

Under the deal, Magoon, 50, pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing methamphetamine and received five years of probation. The case was heard earlier this month.

Charges were dropped against his younger brother, Matthew Magoon.

On March 10, police went to the home in the 800 block of Angela Street to serve an arrest warrant on Matthew Magoon on unrelated charges. There, they uncovered evidence of a clandestine drug lab used to make methamphetamine. During the investigation, police turned up evidence that included glassware, beakers, propane tanks, tubing, acetone, salts, powders, smoking devices, precursor for making methamphetamine, a digital scale and packaging.

Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement agents also went to the home to investigate and dismantle the lab, police said. Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department hazardous material crews went to the home as a precaution.

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Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:31 am

No jail time?! Are you kidding? What has become of our criminal justice system? This is a cruel joke and does nothing to discourage anyone already considering setting up their own lab at home, not to mention punishing the perps caught in the act.

Like this comment
Posted by colette
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:45 am

What kind of a plea deal would let this drug pusher off so easily. This is rididculous!!!!! So to all you meth manufacturers out there...have at it. No consequences for your actions! PLEEEASE!

Like this comment
Posted by Hybrid Owner
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jun 28, 2010 at 9:08 am

I am OUTRAGED! I hope that he was at least ordered to complete a drug rehabilitation program followed mandatory drug testing for the next 5 years. This was far too serious a crime to be given probation!

Like this comment
Posted by Drug Haven
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:09 am

Well, at least he doesn't live in our neighborhood, next to our kids and I'm sure he's never going to do it again, and we're all safe. Wait! No Jail Time. What in the world?

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:32 am

No Surprise...follow the money and the family ties, you just may discover something interesting. Thanks, Julia

Like this comment
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

As frustrating as this is, I'm not surprised. Good Job Pleasanton PD for trying. I know it's out of your hands once you lay the facts over!

Like this comment
Posted by william
a resident of another community
on Jun 28, 2010 at 1:00 pm

Legalize and tax drugs.

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Posted by Dominic DIBlasio
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 28, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I was outraged also by the light sentence...I spoke to local reporter about this as I wanted find out who the DA is that cut this deal so I could complain...The reporter gave me some perspective on this that I thought I would pass on from the dialog...

"The courts provide three services, what prosecutors usually refer to as the three-legged stool. Those are:

1. Punishment. This is obvious.
2. Protecting the community. Again, obvious.
3. Rehabilitation. A little more complicated...

California courts, like the two other states in which I've covered courts, have recommended sentencing guidelines. They go up, if, for example, the person charged doesn't take responsibility for his/her actions. They go down, for example, if the person charged is a first-time offender.

If the sentencing guidelines call for no or little time, the prosecutor will usually make a deal that will fall within those guidelines. This accomplishes a couple of things. It keeps the flow of arrestees moving through the courts, for one thing. Imagine if all the people charged in any given day wanted jury trials? That would effectively block any real prosecution (ie: Mr Scherer, who's charged with murdering his parents) for months.

It also guarantees the person charged will get a sentence of some kind, even if it's just the mandatory minimum. That means there's no worry about the legality of a search (Where exactly did the cops get the information that led to the search? Was there probable cause for a warrant? Was Mr. Magoon properly Mirandized?, etc...)

It keeps the arrestee from getting off, which can happen in a jury trial. Remember O.J.?

Also, remember the situation in California prisons, which are now being required to release people.

So, the question comes down to whether the fines -- I didn't report on this because I couldn't confirm the actual amount -- and the five years of probation against Mr Magoon will be effective enough punishment, protect the community (he'll have weekly drug tests and, as a convicted felon, his constitutional right to privacy is waived and his home is subject to random searches) and rehabilitate the guy.

Is it enough? Too soon to tell. But, having covered literally dozens of these cases, this is not an uncommon outcome, and any crime after that -- even something as minor as missing an appointment with his probation officer -- is a second strike.

My experience with this is that usually after five years of being under a microscope, people will keep their noses clean.

The bottom line for your question is this: if you want to complain about Mr. Magoon's sentence, you probably need to take your complaint to the state legislature, which approved the current sentencing guidelines. They're the people responsible for the light sentence, not the prosecutor and not the judge. Given the state of California prisons, they probably have very limited options, too.

Personally, I'd rather have someone like Mr. Magoon out and under the thumb of a probation officer than a child molester or rapist, especially since their recidivism rate is MUCH higher than a one-time wanna-be meth manufacturer."

Although I still feel the plea bargain left this guy with too light a sentence, looks like what needs to be changed lies with our legislature like so many of problems here in CA...

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:29 pm

I'm satisfied with the decision of the court.

Details are not always available but I have enough trust in the courts to accept the decision and to

Like this comment
Posted by Davis
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Not sure how to follow your instructions Julia. Please elaborate.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 28, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Julia likes to talk through her hat.

Like this comment
Posted by Julianne
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Common.. Give them at least 6 months.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 28, 2010 at 11:21 pm

The court has made the call so it's time to!

Like this comment
Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 29, 2010 at 9:11 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

If you want low crime rates, put the criminals in prison. It's that simple. Rehabilitate an old man? Preposterous, outrageous and stupid.

Like this comment
Posted by Julia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

Hey Thin Skin Cholo...can't take what you try and dish out.

Read all your past comments and then review mine...and you will quickly realize who is talking through his/her hat. By the way, "The Cholo" I don't wear a hat...but I'm sure I seen you walking the streets of Livermore with that baseball hat pulled to the side...great look!

Bye's always a pleasure reading your brain dead comments.

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 29, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Like I said, it's time to

i rest my case...eeh eeh eet, eeh eeh eet...

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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