After a long history of drug convictions, a Seaside man was sentenced Monday to more than four years in prison for possessing and dealing methamphetamine.

Circuit Court Judge Philip Nelson sentenced Robert Anton Dunagan, 51, to serve 52 months in prison, double what he would ordinarily receive for the charges.

The increased sentence was requested by the Clatsop County District Attorney’s office because of repeat drug convictions. The request is known as an upward departure, a rare occurrence within Oregon’s sentencing guidelines.

Dunagan was arrested Jan. 17 in Seaside along with three others when the Clatsop County Drug Task Force, Seaside Police and Clatsop County Sheriff’s deputies executed multiple search warrants. They had received information that the locations were known to have frequent drug related traffic.

Dunagan was arrested in connection during a traffic stop. He was found to be in possession of a dealer’s quantity of methamphetamine.

Deputy District Attorney Scott McCracken stated that the defendant had three separate convictions for delivery of a controlled substance dating back to 1992, including one within 1,000 feet of a school.

“There are a number of felony drug convictions in the defendant’s past,” McCracken said.

Clatsop County Sheriff Tom Bergin testified before sentencing that he had many encounters with Dunagan over the years, as a sheriff’s deputy and as sheriff.

“Throughout the years Mr. Dunagan continuously came up on the radar screen as a person who was not just using drugs, but also dealing,” Bergin said.

Bergin recalled the most recent incident for him was when the Washington County SWAT team had to be used to serve a warrant on a property in Elsie. Dunagan was living there with several individuals in a compound-like situation, he said.

Dunagan had been on the run for about a year with warrants, Bergin said, and they were able to take him into custody.

Dunagan’s drug convictions and history in Clatsop County led the district attorney’s office to seek a sentence outside of the normal guidelines. Oregon’s sentencing system matches up the seriousness of an offense with the defendant’s past criminal history. However, a judge can go above or below the normal range.

“It would be difficult to find a more suitable candidate for upward departure based on a delivery of a controlled substance case,” McCracken said.

The district attorney’s office requested that Dunagan serve more than five years, however, a conviction for resisting arrest took place in Washington, which Nelson said did not clearly define the severity of the offense compared to Oregon’s. Therefore, the seriousness could not be determined in the sentencing evaluation.

Dunagan expressed that he had tried to seek help for his drug and alcohol use and that his past prison time hadn’t changed anything either.

“I’ve done a lot of jail time and a lot of prison time, none of which has given me reason to stop using,” he said.

He stated that if he had a job or a family he could find a reason to not be involved with drugs.

“I would have thought you would have at some point figured out that maybe this isn’t the best way to make money or maybe it’s time to change your ways,” Nelson said in response.

“I think you’ve had plenty of opportunity to deal with drug and alcohol issues and you’ve chosen not to do so,” he said.

Nelson agreed that the state had established a consistent history of drug use.

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