A Hailey man was sentenced Monday to serve a minimum four and a half years of a 10-year prison sentence following a guilty plea to two felony charges of selling cocaine.
David M. Curren, 59, had pleaded guilty on Feb. 11 to delivery of cocaine and trafficking in cocaine, both felonies. In return the prosecuting attorney dropped four other felony charges.
The case followed an investigation by the Blaine County Narcotics Enforcement Team, a local task force made up of officers from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, the Ketchum Police Division of the Sheriff’s Office and the Sun Valley Police Department.
Curren was arrested after a traffic stop on July 25 and originally charged with six felonies—four for delivery of a controlled substance and two for trafficking in cocaine. In his possession at the time of the arrest was 6 ounces of cocaine. NET had been following Curren for several months prior to the arrest, working with a confidential informant who purchased cocaine on multiple occasions from him.
The charges for delivery of the drug were based on multiple sales and the trafficking charges were based on the quantity of cocaine in his possession.
During the sentencing hearing Monday, prosecutor Matt Fredback told the court that this was not a case of someone with an addiction who required rehabilitation and treatment but rather a case of a professional criminal.
“Mr. Curren knew exactly what he was doing … a person who made a living selling cocaine,” Fredback said.
Subsequent to Curren’s arrest, NET searched his home under a warrant and discovered more than $12,000 in cash stored in a freezer, a scale, packing materials, firearms and marijuana.
Fifth District Judge Ned Williamson said he looked at other cases similar to Curren’s when making his sentencing decision and that there was significant evidence that Curren was a professional criminal actively selling and looking for sales. Paired with his “sporadic” employment at bars throughout the Wood River Valley, Williamson said, it appeared that most of his income was derived from drug sales.
In response to defense attorney Andrew Parnes’ request that his client get the minimum required sentence of three years, Williamson said Curren’s crimes were serious.
“Maybe it’s not as bad as methamphetamine, but it’s illegal,” Williamson said.