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State v. Bachman

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Sixth District, Fulton

March 30, 2018

State of Ohio Appellee
v.
Mitchel D. Bachman Appellant

          Trial Court No. 16CR000120

          Scott A. Haselman, Fulton County Prosecuting Attorney, for appellee.

          Edward J. Stechschulte, for appellant.

          DECISION AND JUDGMENT

          JENSEN, J.

         I. Introduction

         {¶ 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.

         A. 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 appellant's mother.

         {¶ 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 ...


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