Man sentenced for selling drugs near school

A 36-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to three years behind bars for selling crack cocaine from a home within 120 feet of a Menlo Park elementary school.

Earl Lee Brewer pleaded no contest on Oct. 9 to one count of possession of cocaine base for sale in a plea deal that assured him he would be sentenced to no more than three years in state prison.

Brewer was arrested May 2 after state narcotics agents raided his home at 1409 Almanor Ave. following two undercover drug purchases, Deputy District Attorney Shin-Mee Chang said.

Authorities found 130 grams of crack and $2,500 in cash in his possession, Chang said. Brewer had claimed some of the cash was given to him by his wife and the rest was a result of fixing up cars and selling them.

Though Brewer had no felony record, San Mateo Superior Court Judge John Gransaert gave him the maximum sentence under the plea agreement based on a probation report detailing Brewer’s refusal to take responsibility for the crime, Chang said.

Selling drugs within 1,000 feet of a school can add up to five years onto an offender’s sentence, but Brewer was ineligible for the extratime since the drugs were sold inside a home and not on the street, Chang said.

At Belle Haven Elementary School adjacent to Brewer’s former residence, school secretary Aline Galik said the neighborhood is plagued by gangs, drugs and violence.

“It’s a difficult area,” she said. “Drugs have been found in the school and on the students. The Menlo Park Police Department is very helpful but they can’t catch everything.”

tbarak@examiner.com

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