Judge opts for work release, probation for drug dealer

A local man who confessed to selling methamphetamine will spend two years in a work-release program rather than being sent to prison.

Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge Jim Worton sentenced Travis Ray Satterfield, 27, 2248 McKinley Ave., on Tuesday to six years in prison and then suspended the sentence and ordered the work-release program followed by probation.

Satterfield originally was charged with two counts of dealing in methamphetamine, one as a Level 4 felony and the other as a Level 5 felony.

As part of a plea bargain agreement, Satterfield pleaded guilty on May 25 to one count of dealing methamphetamine as a Level 4 felony. In exchange, the remaining count was dropped, court records stated. As part of his sentencing, Satterfield was ordered to pay $300 restitution to law enforcement, as well as more than $700 in various fees.

Had he been convicted on both methamphetamine dealing charges, Satterfield could have received up to 18 years in prison, as well as ordered to pay as much as $20,000 in fines.

However, court records indicate Satterfield, who has a dependent child, has not faced previous criminal charges in Bartholomew County. In addition, a pre-sentence investigation indicated he is likely to respond well to a suspended sentence, Worton said.

When the first drug buy occurred on July 13, Satterfield switched the location of the exchange at the last minute in an effort to thwart surveillance, according to a probable-cause affidavit in the case.

But what he didn’t know is that investigators had used his cellphone number in advance to first identify him and then get his driver’s license photo, the affidavit stated.

This allowed a witness to positively identify Satterfield as the man who sold almost a gram of methamphetamine outside a gas station on the city’s southeast side, the affidavit stated.

Two days later, a similar purchase was recorded near Satterfield’s residence, the affidavit stated.

At the conclusion of the investigation, Satterfield was arrested Dec. 21 by the Hope Police Department.

Satterfield was released March 8 after posting a $15,000 bond and was ordered to remain under electronic home monitoring.