YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Attorneys for a Bloomfield man charged in federal court with supplying the drugs that led to the 2016 death of an Ashtabula woman filed a suppression motion this week.

The motion, filed in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio on behalf of Shawn Ray Smith, 34, asks that all evidence seized during a Feb. 5, 2016, search of a Penniman Road home in North Bloomfield be suppressed because a valid warrant was never obtained by authorities.

The case, which is being heard by U.S. Judge Dan Aaron Polster, was first indicted in June of 2017 and was supposed to resolve with a plea bargain before the government took the plea bargain back. The case was then set for a March 2020 trial.

Smith changed attorneys and then filed a motion in August 2020 asking the court to force the government to enforce the plea agreement they withdrew, claiming that Smith was ill-advised by his previous attorney.

Smith was indicted on two counts of drug distribution, distribution of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine, two counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin, two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.

Court records show Smith wanted to take the original plea offer because it called for a 15-year sentence to run concurrent with state charges he is serving time for. He claimed he was not informed by his counsel of his appellate and post-conviction rights, which is why he rejected the plea offer.

Judge Polster ruled in Smith’s favor in January, but Smith then rejected a plea agreement in September. Court records do not make clear if that was the same offer the government had earlier made.

Earlier this month Judge Polster granted a motion allowing Smith’s attorneys, William and Andrea Whitaker, to file a suppression motion, which was filed Tuesday.

A trial brief filed by the government in anticipation of the March 2020 trial that was postponed said that a woman known as “J.K.” was found not breathing by her children on her bedroom floor about 5:20 a.m. Feb. 5, 2016. An autopsy later found that that the woman, who was once in a relationship with Smith, died from an overdose of a combination of drugs, including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and fentanyl.

The trial brief said Smith purchased drugs on Feb. 1, 2016, from his distributor in East Cleveland for $1,400, but those drugs were of poor quality after he “cut,” or diluted the drugs to add to their volume, and he made arrangements to purchase a new batch of drugs that same day from the same person for the same price, the trial brief said.

The drugs he purchased were of a purer quality and Smith decided not to cut them to make up for the poor batch he sold earlier, the trial brief said. Smith spent Feb. 4, 2016, selling drugs to users from the fake bottom of a deodorant can and he and the woman also used drugs. Smith decided to take the woman to a bar to meet a friend and pick up her daughter later because she was so high she could barely function, the trial brief said.

Smith kept the woman’s car, which was found at his home the morning of her death. That led to a search of his apartment, the trial brief said.

His attorneys said in their motion to suppress any evidence seized during that search must be thrown out because investigators did not have a valid warrant. The motion said investigators with the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office forced their way in the home, detained several people inside and found a case in plain view which investigators opened that had a gun and drugs inside.

Police then obtained a search warrant based on what they found in the case, the warrant said.

The evidence in the case was not in plain view because the case was closed and the officers opened it without having a warrant, the motion said.

Investigators also should not have gone inside the home because they were told to go back and get a warrant, the motion said. Although the person who gave law enforcement permission to enter was the person who had the lease on the home, the motion said that person was coerced by law enforcement.

According to court records, Smith still remains in detention. He is also serving a five-year sentence from Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court on unrelated charges.