A local man was handed a 15-year prison sentence after he copped a plea deal in the 266th Judicial District Court Wednesday.

John Delacruz, 29, pleaded guilty to manufacturing or delivery of methamphetamine, more than four grams but less than 200, a first degree felony.

District Attorney Jason Cashon said a co-defendant had already been sentenced as part of the investigation. A jury gave Delacruz’s wife Trista a seven-year prison sentence in August after she was found guilty of delivering more than six grams of meth to two undercover narcotics investigators from Parker County.

During Trista’s trial, the jury heard that the officers, with the cooperation of an informant, purchased two “eight balls” of meth at the Delacruz residence in the 900 block of Pearl Street in Stephenville in March 2008. An eight ball is 1/8 of an ounce, or 3.5 grams.

At the August trial, an undercover officer testified that four children were at the home when the deal was made and Delacruz pointed to a cigarette box, which contained the drugs and was left in the yard where children were playing. Trista received the payment and allowed the officers to enter the home and weigh the meth. A concealed recording device caught the transaction as well as the sounds of the children playing and was presented to the jury at Trista’s trial.

John’s brother was the confidential informant who arranged the deal that led to the arrests. 

“From the testimony and evidence at her trial, it was evident she was a player in the deal,” Cashon said. “But John was the major player. The reason I doubled the sentence is because I wanted to make the punishment fit the crime and the criminal.”