A St. Louis man who was found passed out at an Oak Grove truck stop after a week-long bender last May is heading to federal prison for illegal possession of methamphetamine and a firearm.
James Pettus, 40, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Kansas City to 14 years and two months in prison. He had pleaded guilty in September to possessing meth with the intent to distribute and possessing a gun during a drug-trafficking crime.
According to court documents, on May 21, 2018, Oak Grove Police were called shortly before 10 a.m. for an unresponsive man in the Iron Skillet Restaurant, in the Oak Grove 70 Petro Truck Stop.
An officer found Pettus asleep and snoring, with his face and arms covered in saliva and snot. After many attempts to wake him, Pettus could only say his name was “James,” could not provide ID and when asked said that “Bush” was the president.
The officer called for an ambulance, but while waiting Pettus pulled a knife from his pocket and flipped it open. After a brief struggle, Pettus' knife was taken away and he was handcuffed, and then an officer found a loaded handgun in Pettus' waistband and about 40 grams of suspected meth in a pocket.
Officers later identified Pettus and learned he has felony convictions for unlawful use of a weapon, possession of a controlled substance, theft and car theft. Pettus refused medical treatment and later told police the knife, gun and meth were his, he had been on a meth-fueled bender for a week had been trafficking meth since January.