Actor Dan Haggerty, best known as television’s Grizzly Adams, was sentenced Thursday to 90 days in County Jail and three years’ probation for furnishing cocaine to two undercover police officers last year.
However, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Aurelio Munoz allowed Haggerty, 41, to remain free pending appeal of his conviction. In a split verdict last month, a jury found Haggerty guilty on one count but found that the officers entrapped him into selling them the drug on the second occasion.
Haggerty, in asking the judge not to send him to jail, appeared alternately contrite and unbowed.
“What I did was wrong,” he admitted. "(But) what the system did was not right.”
‘Tough Thing to Swallow’
Expanding his thoughts later outside the courtroom, the husky, bearded actor said the sentence was “a tough thing to swallow. They say live by the rules, and then they help you break the rules and then they punish you.”
In Haggerty’s case, testimony showed that undercover Los Angeles Police Officers Raymond Martin and Barbara Eggar, assigned to the department’s entertainment industry task force, were introduced to the actor through a mutual acquaintance.
Posing as a wealthy investor and his girlfriend, the officers visited Haggerty’s home early in 1984 to discuss a business deal.
Eventually, Haggerty testified, he and his wife came to regard the pair as close friends.
In March, 1984, Martin testified, Haggerty suggested the sale of cocaine and took $325 from the undercover officer for less than 3 grams of the drug.
Three months later, the actor testified, Martin told him he needed more cocaine to satisfy Eggar’s need for the stimulant during sex. Haggerty provided him with about 11 grams for $1,100.
Haggerty, who played a rugged outdoorsman in the mid-1970s television series “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” said he had learned a lesson from the experience: " . . . Keep your shoulders back and not open your door to everybody that comes into your house.”
“I still don’t think you understand what you did (wrong),” Munoz told the actor, adding that he felt compelled to impose the jail term requested by the prosecutor, Deputy Dist. Atty. David P. Conn, “mostly because of the fact I have to treat all people the same.”
Replied Haggerty: “I wasn’t treated the same at the beginning of this thing, was I?”
Narcotics Tests Ordered
Munoz also ordered the actor to undergo repeated narcotics tests and to perform 200 hours of community service. Haggerty’s probation report said the actor has acknowledged using cocaine since 1972--including as recently as last month.
W. Michael Mayock, Haggerty’s lawyer, said his client had no objections to being placed in a drug rehabilitation program and would also use his celebrity status to warn the public against drug use. The actor, Mayock said, has performed extensive community work over the last decade and was asked by the Police Department to participate in a “Fiesta of the Stars” benefit before his drug arrest.
Mayock said Haggerty had already been punished enough by being unable to find jobs and is also suffering from malignant melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer, and is scheduled for surgery on his right shoulder next week. He said the disease does not appear to be life-threatening.