SANTA CRUZ - A 41-year-old Santa Cruz man reported to court Tuesday to begin serving a five-year, four-month sentence for selling crack cocaine in areas around the Santa Cruz County Courthouse, prosecutors said.

Larry Augustus Gardner was arrested in November by the county Anti-Crime Team, prosecutor Abel Hung said. Gardner was arrested after selling drugs in San Lorenzo Park and other areas near the courthouse and County Government Center, Hung said.

Gardner was charged with three counts of selling cocaine base, or crack, Hung said.

In a plea bargain, Gardner admitted to two counts and prosecutors dropped a third count, Hung said.

They also dropped two allegations of prior convictions.

Gardner was out of custody after entering the deal and reported as scheduled Tuesday.

A resident of Blaine Street, who is active in a neighborhood watch group there, attended the short hearing.

Follow Sentinel reporter Cathy Kelly on Twitter at Twitter.com/cathykelly9.

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