A Northridge man was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles federal court to spend one year in prison for selling small quantities of cocaine under a new federal law that strengthens the penalties for distributing drugs near schools.
Rejecting pleas to allow Michael Jon Enders Jr., 19, to serve his time in a drug treatment program, U.S. District Judge William D. Keller said the new "schoolyard" statute requires a minimum of a year in prison, apparently without possibility of parole.
The case was the first in Los Angeles under the new law, passed last year. Enders could have been sentenced to as long as 60 years for selling a total of 4.8 grams of cocaine to an undercover police officer at a home near a high school for the disabled.
"We're dealing with the sale and distribution of narcotics in the area of our schools, and this type of activity must be dealt with firmly," Keller said.
Enders, indicted with two others under the statute, pleaded guilty to distributing 1.8 grams of cocaine near Diane S. Leichman High School in Reseda and to another count of selling three grams of cocaine.