Court No. 16CR000120
A. Haselman, Fulton County Prosecuting Attorney, for
J. Stechschulte, for appellant.
DECISION AND JUDGMENT
1} Appellant, Mitchel Bachman, appeals the judgment
of the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas, sentencing him to
one year of community control after a jury found him guilty
of trafficking in marijuana and permitting drug abuse.
Facts and Procedural Background
2} On August 16, 2016, appellant was indicted on one
count of trafficking in marijuana in violation of R.C.
2925.03(A), and one count of permitting drug abuse in
violation of R.C. 2925.13(A), felonies of the fifth degree.
Appellant entered a plea of not guilty, and a two-day jury
trial began on January 12, 2017. The following facts were
established at trial.
3} On June 17, 2016, a confidential informant, J.B.,
contacted the Fulton County Sheriffs Office and informed
deputy Steven Waxler about a potential drug transaction
involving appellant. According to J.B., appellant had offered
to sell him 1.5 ounces of marijuana for $425. Thereafter,
Waxler and another deputy, Justin Galbraith, met J.B. at the
Fulton County Health Center. Waxler searched J.B. and his car
for drugs, money, or other contraband, and installed an
audio/video recorder inside the pocket of J.B.'s mesh
shorts. The recording of the transaction, which was of a poor
quality, was played at trial.
4} J.B. then made his way to the Ace Hardware
parking lot in Wauseon, Ohio, where he was expecting to meet
with appellant to complete the transaction. Waxler and
Galbraith followed appellant to Ace Hardware.
5} While waiting in the Ace Hardware parking lot,
J.B. received a call from appellant, who informed J.B. that
the marijuana was at a friend's mobile home located at
Star Mobile Park. Appellant indicated that he was having a
difficult time locating the marijuana after having hidden it
inside the trailer. Consequently, J.B. drove to the mobile
home to complete the transaction.
6} After J.B. parked his vehicle, the deputies lost
sight of him. J.B. made his way into the trailer, where
appellant and two other males were waiting. According to
J.B., the two unidentified males did not participate in the
drug transaction. Upon entering the trailer, J.B. offered
appellant $400 in exchange for the marijuana. Appellant
agreed, and the transaction was completed.
7} Approximately five minutes later, J.B. returned
to his vehicle and left the trailer park. Shortly thereafter,
an individual whom Waxler identified as appellant departed
the scene driving a red pickup truck. Notably, J.B. testified
that appellant had driven a bright red Ford Ranger pickup
truck for "a year or two" prior to the transaction.
Waxler recorded the license plate number from the truck,
which was later determined to be registered to
8} Eventually, J.B. met up with Waxler and
Galbraith, as well as Officer Jerry Brown. The video and
audio recording equipment was removed from J.B.'s person,
and J.B. handed the officers the vegetation that he had
purchased from ...