Man sentenced to three years in federal prison for package of cocaine

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An affidavit in the case said agents tracked the package to an apartment complex in Salem

Michael Sandusky, 46, received a sentence of 37 months by U.S. Judge Patricia A. Gaughan in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A man who was indicted in federal court after he was found with a package of cocaine that was delivered to a Salem apartment complex was sentenced Tuesday to just over three years in federal prison.

Michael Sandusky, 46, received a sentence of 37 months by U.S. Judge Patricia A. Gaughan in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio following a guilty plea Jan. 22 to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

A charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm was dropped in exchange for his plea.

Sandusky was charged after federal agents tracked a package of cocaine on Sept. 24 that was shipped in the mail from Houston, Texas, and addressed to a Continental Drive apartment complex in Salem.

The package was intercepted at a postal facility in Pittsburgh and was set aside because of the address and “other factors” that caused postal employees to treat it as suspicious. An affidavit in the case, however, did not say what those other factors are.

A search warrant was obtained and a dog detected cocaine inside the package. When the package was opened, authorities found more than two pounds of cocaine inside, the affidavit said.

The cocaine was replaced and a GPS tracking unit was added to the package. Federal agents then delivered the package to the address. When they delivered the package, a man picked it up and took it to someone waiting in a car, the affidavit said.

Agents followed the car for about 20 minutes before pulling it over. Inside the car they found a cellphone that was torn apart, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said the man who accepted delivery of the package told agents he had accepted delivery of several packages for Sandusky because Sandusky was complaining that he was having packages stolen. Sandusky paid the man $100 each time he accepted delivery of a package, the affidavit said.

As part of his plea agreement, Sandusky agreed to forfeit a .12-gauge shotgun, but the affidavit does not say when the shotgun was found. However, the indictment in the case said Sandusky had the shotgun the same day he was found with the cocaine.

Sandusky is not allowed to have any weapons because of a 2002 drug conviction in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, the indictment in the case said.

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