updated 04/20/2010 AT 5:20 PM ET
•originally published 04/20/2010 AT 4:10 PM ET
In what a judge called Cameron Douglas’s “last chance to make it,” the son of actor Michael Douglas was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for conspiring to sell crystal meth and for heroin possession.
Cameron was somber as U.S. District Judge Richard Berman announced the sentence. The charges resulted from Cameron’s arrest last summer in a federal drug sting.
Douglas, a 31-year-old former deejay, told the judge that he was sober for the first time in his adult life, and that he was grateful for the chance to get clean.
“I d like to apologize to my family and loved ones for putting them through this nightmare of my making,” Cameron said, adding, “I believe, your honor, things will be different this time.”
In making his decision, Berman said he took into consideration more than two dozen letters written on Cameron’s behalf, including a five-page handwritten letter from his father and an emotional letter from Cameron’s mother, Diandra, both of whom admitted to the judge that they had failed Cameron.
In his letter to the judge Michael Douglas wrote, “For the past eight months, I have cherished my two hr. a week in person conversation with Cameron at the MCC [Metropolitan Correctional Center]. He’s sober!” Douglas wrote.
“I get to witness the wonderful young man he can be. He maintains his spirit, blames no one but himself, and recognizes his criminal activity began with his heroin use.”
Douglas could have faced a minimum of 10 years in prison under sentencing guidelines, but Berman noted that other court decisions have found that those guidelines are no longer mandatory. Instead he opted to give Douglas a sentence of five years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.
I think this case (and) sentence may well be his last chance to make it,” the judge said.
In arguing for a lighter sentence, Douglas’s attorney Nicholas De Feis said, He s not going to let his family down, and they re not going to let him down.”