Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Defiance
from Defiance County Common Pleas Court Trial Court No. 16 CR
Allen Marks for Appellant
Russell R. Herman for Appellee
Defendant-appellant, Orlando Perez, Jr. ("Perez"),
appeals the January 24, 2017 judgment entry of the Defiance
County Common Pleas Court imposing consecutive sentences
after he pled guilty to two counts of trafficking in cocaine.
For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the judgment of
the trial court.
On July 21, 2016, Perez was indicted on four criminal charges
in Defiance County: Count One, Trafficking in Cocaine, in
violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(1)(C)(4)(f), a felony of the
first degree; Count Two, Trafficking in Cocaine, in violation
of R.C. 2925.03(A)(1)(C)(4)(g), a felony of the first degree;
Count Three, Trafficking in Cocaine, in violation of R.C.
2925.03(A)(1)(C)(4)(g), a felony of the first degree; and
Count Four, Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, in
violation of R.C. 2923.32(A)(1)(B)(1), a felony of the first
degree. Major Drug Offender ("MDO") Specifications,
in violation of R.C. 2941.1410(A) were contained in Counts
Two and Three. Count Three also contained Forfeiture
Specifications (of money in a drug case and automobile in a
drug case), in violation of R.C. 2941.1417(A). (Doc 2).
At his arraignment on January 26, 2016, Perez entered a plea
of not guilty on all charges. (Doc. 9). On November 23, 2016
the trial court conducted a change of plea hearing. At the
hearing, Perez entered pleas of guilty to Counts One and
Three of the indictment, with the State dismissing the MDO
specification in both counts. (Doc. 16). Perez also pled
guilty to the Forfeiture Specification in Count Three.
(Id.) However, the record is silent as to the
dismissal of Count Two and Four. The trial court accepted
Perez's guilty pleas and ordered a Pre-Sentence
Investigation. Id. A sentencing hearing was held in
the trial court on January 23, 2017 wherein Perez was
sentenced to a seven-year prison term for each count (one and
three), with the terms to be served consecutive, for an
aggregate prison term of fourteen years. (Doc. 17). Perez
filed a motion for leave to file delayed notice of appeal on
July 31, 2017 and we granted that request on September 8,
2017. Perez appeals the sentencing entry of the trial court,
filed January 24, 2017, raising the following sole assignment
TRIAL COURT ERRED IN IMPOSING CONSECUTIVE SEVEN-YEAR PRISON
TERMS FOR AN AGGREGATE TERM OF FOURTEEN YEARS.
In his sole assignment of error, Perez argues that the trial
court erred in imposing consecutive prison terms.
Specifically, Perez contends that the trial court failed to
make the required factual findings on the record before
imposing consecutive sentences and questions whether a
finding of proportionality can be inferred from the trial
A sentence imposed by a trial court will not be disturbed
absent a showing by clear and convincing evidence that the
sentence is unsupported by the record; the procedure of the
sentencing statutes was not followed or there was not a
sufficient basis for the imposition of a prison term; or that
the sentence is contrary to law. State v. Ward, 3d
Dist. Crawford No. 3-17-02, 2017-Ohio-8518. See R.C.
Before consecutive sentences may be imposed, the trial court
is required to make findings in accordance with R.C. 2929.14.
First, the sentencing court must find that consecutive
sentences are "necessary to protect the public" or
to "punish the offender". R.C. 2929.14(C)(4).
Second, the sentencing court must find that consecutive
sentences are "not disproportionate to the seriousness
of the offender's conduct and to the danger he poses to
the public". Id. And finally, the sentencing
court must find the existence of one of the three following
circumstances: (a) the offender committed one or more of the
multiple offenses while the offender was awaiting trial or
sentencing * * * or was under post-release control for a
prior offense; (b) * * * the harm caused by * * * the
multiple offenses was so great or unusual that no single
prison term for any of the offenses committed as part of a
single course of conduct adequately reflects the seriousness
of the offender's conduct; (c) the offender's history
of criminal conduct ...