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State v. Smith

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth District

June 12, 2018

State of Ohio, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Joshua F. Smith, Defendant-Appellant.

          APPEAL from the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas C.P.C. No. 17CR-157

         On brief:

          Ron O'Brien, Prosecuting Attorney, and Sheryl L. Prichard, for appellee.

          The Law Office of Brian Jones, LLC, Brian G. Jones and Elizabeth E. Osorio, for appellant.

         Argued:

          Sheryl L. Prichard.

          Elizabeth E. Osorio.

          DECISION

          SADLER, J.

         {¶ 1} Defendant-appellant, Joshua F. Smith, appeals from a judgment of conviction and sentence entered by the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas pursuant to a guilty plea entered by appellant.

         {¶ 2} The charges against appellant arise out of his participation in drug trafficking. The most expansive scheme involved obtaining unwarranted prescriptions for oxycodone painkillers from a corrupt physician in Florida, filling the prescriptions in Michigan and elsewhere, and reselling the pills in central Ohio. Several persons participated in this scheme as couriers and distributors under appellant's direction, receiving travel expenses and instructions from him.

         {¶ 3} Two indictments resulted. In the first, Franklin C.P. No. 17CR-000157, a 39-count indictment issued on January 9, 2017 charged appellant and several other co-offenders with crimes arising from the oxycodone operation. The counts pertaining to appellant consisted of one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity in violation of R.C. 2923.32, a felony of the first degree; one count of aggravated funding of drug trafficking in violation of R.C. 2925.05, a felony of the first degree; and 27 counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs in violation of R.C. 2925.03, felonies of the second degree. Appellant pleaded not guilty to these charges on January 11, 2017 and posted bond the same day.

         {¶ 4} The second indictment, Franklin C.P. No. 17CR-001817, issued on March 31, 2017, added three counts of aggravated trafficking involving bulk amounts of methamphetamine. Appellant pleaded not guilty to these charges on April 5, 2017.

         {¶ 5} In addition, continued investigation produced evidence of additional trafficking in methamphetamine by appellant, but these incidents did not result in further indictment. The resulting arrest on February 13, 2017 coincided with a bond revocation in case No. 17CR-000157.

         {¶ 6} After plea negotiations, the parties agreed appellant would plead guilty to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and aggravated funding of drug trafficking counts of the first indictment and 13 of the first indictment's counts for aggravated trafficking in drugs. Appellant would further plead guilty to one of the three aggravated trafficking counts from the second indictment. The state agreed to dismiss all other charges in the two indictments and would not seek indictment of charges arising from the later methamphetamine buys. The parties and judge agreed the statutory minimum ...


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