FARGO, N.D. -

A federal appeals court says a judge did not make a mistake when he allowed a Rugby man to represent himself in a drug distribution case.

A jury in January 2015 convicted Sean Conklin on one count of distribution of meth and one count of distribution of heroin.

Conklin was sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Conklin argued in his appeal that Judge Daniel Hovland violated his right to have an attorney represent him because Conklin did not ``unequivocally state'' his intent to represent himself.

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals says Conklin refused appointed counsel and ignored Hovland's pretrial deadline for resolving issue.