from Allen County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No.
A. Kelly for Appellant
E. Emerick for Appellee
Defendant-appellant/cross-appellee Corey D. Gordon
("Gordon") brings this appeal from the judgment of
the Court of Common Pleas of Allen County finding him to be a
major drug offender. Gordon argues that the trial court
failed to make an independent finding that he was a major
drug offender. Additionally, the
plaintiff-appellee/cross-appellant the State of Ohio
("the State") appeals the judgment of the trial
court modifying a final judgment of conviction and sentencing
alleging that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to do so.
For the reasons set forth below, the judgments are affirmed
in part and reversed in part.
On August 11, 2016, the Allen County Grand Jury indicted
Gordon on one count of Possession of Cocaine in violation of
R.C. 2925.11(A), 2925.11(C)(4)(f), a felony of the first
degree. Doc. 3. This count contained a firearm specification
and a major drug offender specification. Id. Gordon
was also indicted on one count of Having Weapons While Under
Disability in violation of R.C. 2923.13(A)(2), a felony of
the third degree. Gordon entered pleas of not guilty to the
charges. Doc. 10. On December 16, 2016, Gordon changed his
plea to one of guilty as part of a negotiated plea agreement.
Doc. 82. In exchange for his plea of guilty to Count 1,
including the major drug offender specification, the State
agreed to dismiss the firearm specification and Count 2 of
the indictment. Id. The trial court personally
addressed Gordon and determined that the plea of guilty was a
voluntary act. Doc. 83. The trial court then accepted the
plea of guilty to one count of possession of cocaine with a
major drug offender specification and dismissed all remaining
specifications and charges. Id.
On February 23, 2017, a sentencing hearing was held. Doc. 90.
The trial court ordered Gordon to serve a mandatory prison
term of 11 years. Id. The trial court also imposed a
mandatory fine of $10, 000.00. Id. On March 8, 2017,
Gordon filed a motion to modify his sentence requesting that
the mandatory fine be waived because he was indigent. Doc.
93. The trial court granted this motion on March 9, 2017, and
ordered the mandatory fine to be waived. Doc. 94. On that
same day, the State filed its response to the motion. Doc.
95. On March 10, 2017, the State filed a motion for the trial
court to reconsider its modification of sentence. Prior to a
ruling on this motion, Gordon filed his notice of appeal from
the sentencing entry. Doc. 97. The State filed its notice of
cross-appeal on March 29, 2017. Doc. 101. On appeal, Gordon
raised the following assignment of error.
State then raised the following assignment of error in its
The trial court erred in filing an order purporting to modify
a final judgment of conviction and sentencing, as the trial
court lacked jurisdiction to do so.
that Defendant was a Major Drug Offender
Gordon claims in his assignment of error that the trial court
erred by finding him to be a major drug offender pursuant to
R.C. 2941.1410(B). A major drug offender is defined as a
defendant who "pleads guilty to the possession of * * *
any drug, compound, mixture, preparation, or substance that
contains * * * at least one hundred grams of cocaine * * *.
R.C. 2929.01(W). R.C. 2941.1410 requires the specification to
be contained in the indictment and that the trial court
"shall determine the issue of whether an offender is a
major drug offender." R.C. 2941.1410(A), (B). Gordon
argues that the trial court erred because it did not
specifically find that he was a major drug offender. We
Initially, this Court notes that Gordon entered a plea of
guilty to Possession of Cocaine based upon the facts that he
had cocaine equal to or in excess of one hundred grams of
cocaine. Doc. 3 and 83. Gordon also entered a plea of guilty
to the major drug offender specification. Doc. 83. At the
plea hearing, the trial court specifically addressed the
specification with Gordon and Gordon acknowledged that he
understood what the trial court told him. Tr. 7-8. The trial
court also informed Gordon that because of the specification,
he would be required to serve a mandatory term of eleven
years in prison and Gordon acknowledged this fact. Tr. 9-11.
The trial court then conducted the following dialogue.
The Court: * * * I want to make it clear. There's a
separate plea of guilty required both on the possession of
cocaine as well as the major drug offense so I'll have to
hear both pleas of ...