Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
Criminal Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common
Pleas Case No. CR-16-608482-B
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Ruth R. Fischbein-Cohen
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Michael C. O'Malley Cuyahoga
County Prosecutor By: Sarah Denney Zachary Humphrey Assistant
BEFORE: Laster Mays, J., E.T. Gallagher, P.J., and Jones, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
LASTER MAYS, JUDGE.
Defendant-appellant Ricardo Young ("Young") appeals
his bench trial convictions for various drug-related charges.
We affirm the trial court's judgment.
Background and Facts
On July 31, 2016, at approximately 4:00 a.m., officers from
the Third District of the Cleveland Police Department were
dispatched to the parking lot of Rally's Drive-in
Restaurant ("Rally's") located at the three-way
intersection of East 55th Street, Woodland Avenue, and
Kinsman Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio. A male with a silver
Chrysler was reportedly standing in the Rally's parking
lot waving a gun. Police were not provided with a description
of the male.
The vehicle was no longer at Rally's when officers
arrived. There are several gas stations at the intersection
that are open throughout the night and the area garners
significant police attention. The officers observed several
males standing by a silver Dodge Charger, a car that is
similar in appearance to a Chrysler, at the Shell gas station
across the street from Rally's. Two males entered the
vehicle and left the station. Officers followed the vehicle
and were checking the license plate registration when they
observed a traffic violation when the Dodge Charger moved
from the right lane into the left lane without signaling, and
then moved back into the right-hand lane.
Officers pulled over the vehicle, detected the odor of
marijuana when approaching the car and observed suspected
marijuana in plain view sitting in the open console of the
vehicle. Young, the driver, and his cousin, passenger Samuel
Williams ("Williams"), each had a gun laying in
open view on the floor by their feet. Both occupants
possessed carry concealed weapons permits ("CCW
permits"). Young and Williams were detained and the
vehicle searched. Officers discovered suspected marijuana, a
white substance suspected to be heroin, plastic sandwich
bags, cellular telephones, and two firearms. Young also had
approximately $500 in cash. The license plate was registered
to a rental car agency and was rented by Young's sister.
Young and Williams were arrested and indicted.
In State v. Young, Cuyahoga C.P. No. CR-16-608482-B
("Young I "), Young was indicted for: drug
trafficking, R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), a felony of the fourth
degree, with a one year firearm specification, R.C. 2941.141
and forfeiture specifications, R.C. 2941.1417; drug
possession, R.C. 2925.11(A), a felony of the fifth degree,
with a one year firearm specification, R.C.2941.141, and
forfeiture specifications, R.C. 2941.1417; trafficking, R.C.
2925.03(A)(2), a felony of the fifth degree, with a one year
firearm specification under R.C. 2941.141, and forfeiture
specifications, R.C. 2941.1417; possessing criminal tools,
R.C. 2923.24(A), a felony of the fifth degree, with
forfeiture specifications, R.C. 2941.1417.
In State v. Williams, Cuyahoga C.P. No.
CR-16-608482-A, Williams was indicted for two counts of drug
trafficking, R.C. 2925.03(A)(2), one count of drug
possession, R.C. 2925.11(A), and one count of possessing
criminal tools, R.C. 2923.24(A). At the bench trial held on
March 13, 2017, Williams testified that he was employed, a
navy veteran, and did not sell drugs. Williams was found not
guilty of all charges. Young was convicted of all charges and
was sentenced to one year in prison for the firearm
specifications and one year of probation for the underlying
crimes. Young timely appeals.
Assignments of Error
Young poses four assignments of error:
I. The police searched and seized Young in violation of his
Fourth Amendment rights.
II. The verdicts in this case, for the same crime and facts,
were disproportionate and violated Young's due process
III. Young's conviction is against the manifest weight of
IV. The trial court failed to make the proper analysis
regarding whether the convicted counts were allied offenses
of similar import and subject to merger at sentencing ...