Created on Tuesday, 19 March 2013 Written by NATE SMITH
A defendant twice the subject of undercover drug buys and searches executed by the Logan County Joint Drug Task Force, confessed to four charges Monday before Logan County Common Pleas Court Judge Mark S. O’Connor.
Raymond Joseph, 35, of Bellefontaine, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking in drugs, fifth-degree felonies; possession of drugs, a fourth-degree felony; and intimidation of a witness, a third-degree felony.
In May and again around Christmas time, the drug task force utilized confidential informants to purchase a combined 18 units of heroin for $300 from the defendant.
A week after the first drug buy in May, authorities searched a residence on north Elm Street where the defendant sometimes stayed and dealt black tar heroin. That search turned up close to $1,000 in cash and several foil balls containing the drug.
The winter-time drug buy occurred while Mr. Joseph was out on bond on the first case. He was arrested and searched shortly after selling drugs to the informant on Dec. 21. Law enforcement recovered another two dozen single-dose packets of heroin and $635 during that search.
The intimidation charge is the result of an altercation that occurred in the Logan County Jail between the defendant and the confidential informant shortly after Mr. Joseph was arrested the second time.
The informant, who had been working with the drug task force, was himself arrested for possession of drugs, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Eric Stewart said. The men ended up on the same jail block and Mr. Joseph reportedly assaulted the informant for having helped to set him up, prosecutors assert.
In court Monday, Mr. Joseph acknowledged the fight, but said it was over another matter and he didn’t even find out his victim was working with the authorities until he was charged with intimidation.
Prosecutors are recommending a four-year prison term for Mr. Joseph when he is sentenced April 22, a recommendation the defendant considered “steep.” He also made plain his hopes for early release, for which he is eligible after six months.
Defendants sentenced included:
Read Tuesday's Examiner for more of the latest Logan County Common Pleas Court news.