Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Licking
from the Licking County Court of Common Pleas, Case No. 2017
Plaintiff-Appellee DANIEL BENOIT Assistant Prosecutor Licking
County Prosecutor's Office
Defendant-Appellant JEREZ MAYWEATHER, McConnelsville Road
Caldwell, Ohio 43724 Anthony W. Stocco Morrow, Gordon &
JUDGES: Hon. John W. Wise, P.J. Hon. W. Scott Gwin, J. Hon.
Craig R. Baldwin, J.
Defendant-appellant Jerez S. Mayweather appeals his
conviction and sentence from the Licking County Court of
Common Pleas on three counts of trafficking in heroin.
Plaintiff-appellee is the State of Ohio.
OF THE FACTS AND CASE
On February 23, 2017, the Licking County Grand Jury indicted
appellant on three counts of trafficking in heroin in
violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(1)(C)(6)(a), felonies of the
fifth degree. At his arraignment on May 30, 2017, appellant
entered a plea of not guilty to the charges.
A jury trial commenced on October 18, 2017. The following
testimony was adduced at trial.
Deputy Sheriff Greg Collins testified at trial that he was
employed through the Licking County Sheriffs Office and was
assigned to the Central Drug Enforcement Task Force, which is
known as "CODE". On December 15, 2016, CODE
arranged a controlled drug buy at the Family Dollar on East
Main Street in Newark, Ohio. Deputy Collins testified that
the street name of the person who was the target of the drug
buy was "Capo". A confidential informant (CI)
initiated contact with Capo to set up the buy. Deputy
According to Deputy Collins, he went to the location to
conduct surveillance and observed a dark colored Ford Edge
pull into the parking lot and pull off to the side. A black
male wearing all black clothing exited the vehicle and met
with the CI. Both the CI and the man then walked back to the
vehicle. Deputy Collins observed the CI lean into the
vehicle, back out, and then close the door. After the CI
walked away, the male got back into the vehicle and drove
away. Later the same day, the man was a passenger of a
vehicle involved in a traffic stop. Deputy Collins testified
that one of the individuals involved in the traffic stop was
identified as appellant and that appellant's clothing
matching that of the man who had met with the CI earlier that
day. He could not identify appellant as the individual at the
drug buy. According to Deputy Collins, the driver of the car
that was stopped was female. He testified that this was
significant because a female had been driving the vehicle
that was driven to the drug buy. On cross-examination, he
agreed that he did not actually see the drug buy take place.
The next witness to testify was Detective Kris Kimble of the
Licking County Sheriffs Office who had been working with CODE
since 2009. He testified that on December 21, 2016, he
participated in a controlled drug buy using a CI at the Giant
Eagle parking lot in the Southgate Shopping Center. Detective
Kimball, who was conducting surveillance, testified that he
observed a red Kia pull up to the CI, the CI enter the
vehicle, the vehicle drive around that parking lot for
approximately one minute, and then the CI exit the vehicle.
On cross-examination, Detective Kimble testified that he did
not actually observe a drug transaction and could not tell
who the CI bought the drugs from.
Detective Sergeant Alan Thomas, an employee of the Licking
County Sheriffs Office who was assigned to CODE, testified
that he participated in three controlled buys involving a
target known as Capo and/or Jerez Mayweather. With respect to
the December 15, 2016 incident, he testified that he was the
supervisor for the buy and was assigned to help with
surveillance. He further testified that he "ran"
the CI with respect to the December 21, 2016 buy.
Detective Thomas testified that, with respect to the December
15, 2016 buy, he observed a dark colored Ford Edge pull into
the Family Dollar parking lot and that the vehicle was driven
by a white female. He, however, did not witness the actual
buy. Detective Thomas further testified that he participated
in the third buy, which occurred on December 27, 2016, and
acted as supervisor and helped out with surveillance. While
the initial target location for the third buy was the Subway
lot on Mount Vernon Road, the CI walked from the lot and the
drug buy occurred on the sidewalk in the area a few blocks
from the Subway. He testified that he followed the CI as she
walked and saw the CI approached by a black male, although he
could not identify the man. Detective Thomas testified that
he lost sight of the CI and the black male.
At trial, the CI, the CI, testified that she knew appellant
as "Capo" and that she had been introduced to him
by a mutual acquaintance in October of 2016. She testified
that she agreed to work with CODE to have charges for
possession of heroin reduced from a felony of the fifth
degree to a misdemeanor. According to the CI, she had
purchased drugs from appellant in the past and had his
telephone number. When she dialed his number, the name
"Capo" appeared. With respect to the December 15,
2016 buy, the CI testified that she met with Detective Thomas
and called Capo to purchase drugs. The arrangement was for
her to purchase $50.00 of heroin. After appellant, who had
been driven to the location by Detective Todd Green, did not
show up, the CI called him again. She, when asked, testified
that she had been searched both before and after being taken
to the location of the buy.
After the second call was placed, appellant came and the two
walked over to appellant's vehicle, an SUV driven by a
woman, where the CI gave appellant money and he gave her
heroin. The CI testified that she had received the money from
CODE and that after the buy, she went around the corner and
met with Detective Green and gave him the drugs. When asked
if there was any doubt in her mind that appellant was the
person who she had given her money to and bought drugs from,
the CI testified "No." Trial Transcript at 207.
The CI was next questioned about the December 21, 2016 buy.
She testified that she met with Detective Thomas and called
Capo, telling him that she wanted $50.00 worth of heroin. The
CI testified that she saw a red car and that appellant was in
the passenger seat. According to the CI, she got into the
back seat of the car and gave appellant the money and he gave
her the drugs. After driving around for a few minutes, the CI
exited the vehicle. The CI then walked to where Detective
Thomas was located and handed him the drugs. She testified
that she was searched again.
The CI also testified about the buy on December 27, 2016. She
testified that she called appellant and that they were
supposed to meet at Subway, but that appellant did not want
to walk down Mount Vernon Road "because he felt he was a
hot commodity…" Trial Transcript at 216. The CI
testified that she ended up walking up Buckingham Street to
Central Street and that the transaction occurred on the
street. According to her, she had continuous contact with
appellant. After the two parted, the CI went back to the
Detectives, gave them the drugs, was searched again and
filled out a written statement. She testified that she had no
doubt that appellant was the person who she dealt with on
December 27, 2016 to complete the drug buy.
Recordings of the phone calls that the CI made to appellant
to arrange the buys were played for the jury. The CI
testified that her voice and appellant's voice were on
On cross-examination, the CI testified that she performed
approximately six drug buys for CODE over a three month
period beginning in December of 2016 and that more than three
were from appellant. She admitted to using heroin after she
signed her confidential informant contract on December 9,
2016 which prohibited her from using illegal drugs and to
using heroin and other drugs the entire time that she was
setting up appellant. On redirect, the CI testified that she
had been clean since February of 2017.
Detective Todd Green of the Newark Police Department
testified that he was assigned to CODE and "ran"
the first and third buys. He testified that he was in charge
of the CI for the two buys. According to Detective Green,
when he met the CI for the first time, she "threw the
name Capo out." Trial Transcript at 254. He testified
that he had been watching Capo for two to three months and
that he recorded a telephone call between the CI and Capo.
Detective Green testified that he searched the CI's
person and her purse before the buy on December 15, 2106 and
gave her the pre-recorded buy money. The buy money had been
pre-recorded to make sure that they knew the serial numbers
of the money provided to the CI.
Detective Green testified that after the CI made the buy on
December 15, 2016, he picked her up and went to a secure
location where appellant handed him the heroin. He testified
that he requested to have the Ford Edge that appellant was in
stopped because he wanted a positive ID on Capo. He further
testified that he placed the purchased heroin into evidence
and requested that it be tested. Detective Green also
testified about the December 27, 2016 buy. He testified that
he searched the CI's person and purse, provided her with
pre-recorded buy money and fit her with a transmitter. He
testified that he was approximately 100 feet away with
binoculars when he observed an exchange between the CI and
appellant. He asked Detective Thomas to pick the CI up. After
Detective Thomas obtained the drugs from the CI, he gave
Detective Green the drugs and the CI was searched. Detective
Green placed the drugs into evidence.
On cross-examination, Detective Green admitted that he did
not actually see the transaction occur between the CI and
appellant on December 15, 2016. With respect to the December
27, 2016 buy, he admitted that he lost eye contact with the
CI while following appellant but testified that Detective
Thomas did not.
There was testimony at trial regarding the chain of custody
with respect to the heroin. At trial, Jennifer Acurio, a
Bureau of Criminal Investigation forensic scientist,
testified that she tested substances purported to be from the
three drug buys. She testified that all contained heroin, a
Schedule I drug.
At the conclusion of the evidence and the end of
deliberations, the jury, on October 19, 2017, found appellant
guilty of all three charges. As memorialized in a Judgment
Entry filed on October 19, 2017, appellant was sentenced to
one year on each count. The trial court ordered that ...