A Joplin man pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony counts of drug possession and being a felon in possession of a firearm in a plea deal capping the prison time he might receive at no more than four years.

Brandon W. Oakes, 27, changed his plea to guilty on the two counts in Jasper County Circuit Court in a plea agreement dismissing a related felony count of resisting arrest and misdemeanor counts of defacing a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia,

Circuit Judge David Mouton delayed formal acceptance or rejection of the plea deal and ordered a sentencing assessment of the defendant. The judge set Oakes' sentencing hearing for Aug. 12.

The drug possession and resisting arrest counts stemmed from an alleged street mugging Dec. 22 in which the defendant originally faced a third count of robbery. A probable-cause affidavit alleged that he confronted Joshua M. Norris, 24, in the 100 block of North Maple Avenue armed with a knife and length of metal pipe and demanded that Norris give him his wallet and backpack. The affidavit stated that Oakes hit Norris in the knee with the pipe when he balked at giving him what he wanted and then took his wallet and backpack.

A bag of methamphetamine discovered in his possession when police later arrested him in the investigation of the robbery led to the drug charge being filed. But the robbery charge was dismissed at a preliminary hearing Feb. 7 when Norris failed to show up in court to testify against Oakes.

The firearm conviction pertains to an arrest April 28, 2018, when a police officer came upon Oakes asleep in a vehicle with the brake lights on near Ninth Street and Roosevelt Avenue. A search of the vehicle allegedly turned up some drug-related items and a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun with its serial number scratched off.

Oakes has a prior felony drug conviction for which he served prison time in Oklahoma, according to court records.

Recommended for you