Heroin dealer pleads guilty/faces up to a year in jail

Contributed Photo/Courtesy GCSO: Yancy Winans pleaded guilty to an amended count of attempted sale of a narcotic drug.

By Jon Johnson


SAFFORD – Heroin dealer Yancy Winans, 27, agreed to a plea deal in Graham County Superior Court on Tuesday, that will keep him out of prison but could still see him incarcerated for up to one year in the Graham County Adult Detention Facility. 

Winans pleaded guilty to an amended count of attempted sale of a narcotic drug – a Class-3 felony, and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia – Class-6 felonies. 

The charges stem from a Nov. 7, 2018 incident in which Winans sold nearly a gram of heroin to an undercover detective for $100 and a subsequent drug task force search of his residence Feb. 28, that turned up various drugs and paraphernalia. (Safford Police bust alleged heroin dealer: Gila Herald – March 8, 2019)

While the sentencing range of his first count of attempted sale of a narcotic drug is 2 years for a mitigated minimum sentence to 8.75 years for an aggravated maximum sentence, since the offense was Winans first infraction, he was offered standard supervised probation “for a period of time left to the discretion of the court”, which can be up to five years. Additionally, Winans was given a $7,320 fine and ordered to complete 1,080 hours of court-approved community work service.

While Winans avoided a prison sentence by taking the plea agreement, he still faces a possibility of up to one year in jail. 

“There will be a period of incarceration in the Graham County jail,” Graham County Superior Court Judge Michael D. Peterson said. “You are being afforded a very generous resolution, but you need to be realistic and understand that there will be a period of time in the Graham County jail by virtue of the agreement.”

While Winans avoided prison on the Graham County case because it was his first felony conviction, he might not be so lucky on his case in Pinal County, where he faces charges of transportation of a narcotic drug for sale, possession of a narcotic drug for sale, and possession of a narcotic drug. (Alleged heroin dealer cited for driving on a  suspended license and displaying a fictitious license plate tab: Gila Herald – June 29, 2019) Now that he has a felony conviction, that could increase the sentence in his Pinal case if found guilty.

While Winans allegedly committed the Pinal County crime just one week after posting $7,000 bond to get out of the Graham County Adult Detention Facility, at his appearance in court Tuesday, Graham County Probation acknowledged he was compliant on pre-trial services and that his last drug test came back clean. 

After accepting the guilty plea, Judge Peterson set Winans sentencing date for Sept. 24, starting at 10 a.m. Winans remains free on bond until his sentencing.

Winans is being represented by Dennis McCarthy, while the state’s case is being prosecuted by Graham County Deputy County Attorney Scott Adams.