from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No.
O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Sheryl L. Prichard,
Law Offices, and Adam Lee Nemann, for appellant.
1} Defendant-appellant, James Robinson, appeals from
a judgment of conviction entered by the Franklin County Court
of Common Pleas pursuant to jury verdicts finding him guilty
of eight counts of trafficking heroin in violation of R.C.
2925.03(A)(2). For the following reasons, we affirm.
and Procedural Background
2} On December 11, 2014, a Franklin County Grand
Jury indicted Robinson with eight counts of trafficking in
heroin in violation of R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), felonies of the
second degree. The charges arose out of a criminal
investigation of drug activity in the south end of the
Columbus area. Robinson entered a not guilty plea and
proceeded to a jury trial.
3} At the trial, Detective Whitacre testified that
the city of Columbus, Division of Police, had received a
citizen complaint from a group of individuals regarding drug
activity in the south end of Columbus in the area of
Groveport Road and State Route 104. After talking with
informants, patrol officers and other detectives, it was
determined that there were several individuals who were
working together in this area to sell heroin, cocaine, pills,
and marijuana. Based on the information gathered, Detective
Whitacre applied for and received authorization to wiretap
the phone of Keith Pippins. Eventually, the wiretap expanded
to Jack Morris and three other individuals.
4} During the investigation, the police intercepted
a total of 55 calls between Pippins and 589-xxxx. In some of
the calls, Pippins would tell the other person what drugs he
had available, and the person would say what he wanted. Other
calls concerned the timing and location when the two would
meet. Detective Ehrenborg, who was assigned to listen to
intercepted calls, testified that he immediately recognized
Robinson's voice as the other person on the phone with
Pippins in these calls. Detective Ehrenborg stated that he
had known Robinson approximately 18 years and met with him
five to ten times during that period. The detective had no
doubt that it was Robinson talking with Pippins.
5} After one of the intercepted calls with 589-xxxx
on February 8, 2014, a surveillance team was sent out to the
location that Pippins had arranged to meet with the other
person. The surveillance team located Pippins' Range
Rover and also a green Expedition. The tag on the Expedition
was registered to Robinson. The surveillance team was sent
out again following an intercepted call with 589-xxxx on
February 17, 2014. The videotape showed the green Expedition
arriving at the location that Pippens had directed the other
person to come to. The driver got out the vehicle and entered
the residence that had Pippins' Range Rover in the
driveway. Shortly thereafter, the driver reemerged from the
house and drove away. Detective Ehrenborg was shown the video
at trial, and he identified Robinson as the person who drove
the green Expedition, entered the residence, and left soon
6} Detective Whitacre testified that the
investigation came to an end on March 7, 2014. A search
warrant executed at Pippins' residence resulted in
approximately 180 grams of heroin and a cellphone being
seized among other items. The cellphone's SIM card was
analyzed and showed a contact entry identified as Jimmy with
the number 589-xxxx.
7} At the end of the state's case, Jack Morris
testified that he was partners with Pippins. He also knew
Robinson as they had grown up in the same neighborhood.
Morris entered a plea agreement with the state which required
him to testify as required by the state. He identified the
voices on the intercepted calls as belonging to Robinson and
Pippins. After the state rested, Robinson made a Crim.R. 29
motion for acquittal. The trial court denied it.
8} The jury found Robinson guilty of all 8 counts of
trafficking and also found that the amount of heroin involved
was greater than or equal to 10 grams but less than 50 grams.
The trial court sentenced Robinson to 2 years on each count
and ordered that they be served consecutively for a total of
9} Robinson appeals his convictions and assigns the
following assignments of error:
[I.] THE STATE PRODUCED INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT
THE DEFENDANT'S CONVICTION.
[II.] THE VERDICT WAS AGAINST THE MANIFEST WEIGHT OF THE
[III.] THE EVIDENCE AGAINST MR. ROBINSON WAS INSUFFICIENT
TO SUSTAIN A JURY VERDICT OF GUILTY.
[IV.] THE TRIAL COURT ERRED BY PERMITTING THE STATE TO
INTRODUCE "OTHER ACTS" EVIDENCE THAT WAS UNFAIRLY
PREJUDICIAL TO THE DEFENDANT.
of "Other Acts" ...