Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eleventh District, Lake
Criminal Appeal from the Lake County Court of Common Pleas,
Case No. 2017 CR 001304.
Charles E. Coulson, Lake County Prosecutor, and Jennifer A.
McGee, Assistant Prosecutor (For Plaintiff-Appellee).
Vanessa R. Clapp, Lake County Public Defender, and Melissa
Ann Blake, (For Defendant-Appellant).
CYNTHIA WESTCOTT RICE, J.
Appellant, Otis. S. Miller, appeals from his judgment of the
Lake County Court of Common Pleas, sentencing him to an
aggregate term of 12 years imprisonment. We affirm.
The instant matter arose from a lengthy investigation by the
Lake County Narcotics Agency ("LCNA") which
culminated in one of the largest drug arrests in the
county's recent history. On November 14, 2017, LCNA
conducted a controlled drug buy from appellant. During the
buy, appellant sold a confidential informant an ounce of
methamphetamine in exchange for $900. Agents subsequently
secured a search warrant for appellant's residence. The
search resulted in the seizure of cocaine, methamphetamine,
marijuana, alprazolam, methadone, as well as firearms and
Appellant was indicted on a total of 14 charges, 12 of which
were felonies. All counts included forfeiture specifications
and seven included major drug offender specifications.
Appellant originally pleaded not guilty, but withdrew the
plea and entered pleas of guilty to one count of trafficking
in cocaine, a felony of the first degree and one count of
aggravated trafficking in drugs, a felony of the second
degree. After holding a hearing, appellant was sentenced to
10 years on the trafficking in cocaine charge and two years
on the aggravated trafficking in drugs charge. The trial
court ordered the sentences to be served consecutively for an
aggregate prison term of 12 years. He now appeals and assigns
the following as error:
"The trial court erred by sentencing the
defendant-appellant to mandatory and consecutive prison
sentences totaling 12 years."
An appellate court generally reviews felony sentences under
the standard of review set forth in R.C. 2953.08(G)(2), which
The court hearing an appeal under division (A), (B), or (C)
of this section shall review the record, including the
findings underlying the sentence or modification given by the
The appellate court may increase, reduce, or otherwise modify
a sentence that is appealed under this section or may vacate
the sentence and remand the matter to the sentencing court
for resentencing. The appellate court's standard for
review is not whether the sentencing court abused its
discretion. The appellate court may take any action
authorized by this division if it clearly and convincingly
finds either of the following:
(a) That the record does not support the sentencing
court's findings under division (B) or (D) of section
2929.13, division (B)(2)(e) or (C)(4) of section 2929.14, or
division (I) of section 2929.20 of the Revised Code,
whichever, if any, is relevant;
(b) That the sentence is otherwise contrary to law.
Appellate courts "'may vacate or modify any sentence
that is not clearly and convincingly contrary to
law'" only when the appellate court clearly and
convincingly finds that the record does not support the
sentence. State v. Wilson, 11th Dist. Lake No.
2017-L-028, 2017-Ohio-7127, ...