SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - Jerome Block, Junior was released from the Santa Fe County jail Wednesday night just hours after a judge sentenced him to supervised probation instead of prison time for numerous felonies.
Block appeared before Santa Fe District Court Judge Michael Vigil to find out his fate for violating the terms of a plea deal worked out last year.
The state wanted the max, four and a half years.
"The defendant did not ever stop voluntarily Mr. Block only stopped committing crimes when he was caught," the prosecutor said.
In October, 2011 Block, a convicted felon and admitted drug addict, copped to misusing his state issued gas card while on the Public Regulation Commission and pocketing campaign cash while running for the PRC.
He was supposed to avoid prison time by completing the drug court program but he was kicked out after failing tests and missing appointments.
"What he's been doing while out of custody is not working," the state argued.
The prosecutor also told the judge Block has had 10 separate instances of drug treatment dating back to 2006, all of them failed.
Judge Vigil sent Block to prison at the end of January to undergo a diagnostic evaluation for a two reasons.
He said he wanted Block to get a taste of prison life and also to find out if there was more going on than just his addiction.
"The report did address that and they did state that Mr. Block appears not to be a professional criminal, or a serial predator or a social parasite," said Judge Vigil.
Block's attorney said his client may be a drug addict but he is not a bad person and therefore he should get treatment, not prison time.
"This report gives the court the basis for putting Mr. Block on probation under intensive supervision," Attorney John Day said.
Judge Vigil agreed, sentencing him to four and a half years probation.
The state though said given Block's history probation is not a good idea.
"I would certainly argue and I think it's reasonable that if you place the defendant on probation at this time you are only setting him up to fail," The prosecutor said.
The Attorney General's Office said it will be ready to file extra charges if Block slips up and violates his probation.
In the meantime, Block will have to wear an ankle monitor and go to whatever treatment the probation office feels is appropriate.
The judge told him he will also need to get a job and start paying restitution.
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