ASHLAND — Jackson County sheriff's deputies have had their eyes on a suspected drug dealer for a long time.

ASHLAND — Jackson County sheriff's deputies have had their eyes on a suspected drug dealer for a long time.

And on Friday, they finally arrested Mark Andrew Newberger at his home on Mount Ashland Ski Road after police say he sold an undercover officer a half pound of methamphetamine.

"We've known for some time that he is responsible for large quantities of meth," said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters.

Officers also seized packaging materials, digital scales and a little more than $25,000 in cash, proceeds sheriff's officials said come from drug sales.

Winters said the undercover officer bought the half pound of meth for about $5,000.

"We try to hit the largest distributors we can," Winters said. "You always want to work your way up the chain."

This is not Newberger's first run-in with sheriff's deputies. He has a lengthy criminal record stretching back to the early 1990s.

He was convicted of possession of meth in 1998, manufacture of meth in 1999 and delivery of meth in 2003. In the last two cases he received three years' probation and 90 days in jail.

Winters hopes this latest bust will earn Newberger a lengthy prison sentence.

"We intend on filing federal narcotics trafficking charges against him this time," Winters said. "He will spend significantly more time in prison if convicted."

Newberger was lodged in the Jackson County Jail without bail.

Sheriff's officials worked Friday in conjunction with agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471, or e-mail cconrad@mailtribune.com.