Defendant’s plea accepted in Youngstown-area drug case while other defendant asks for leniency

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David Betras, Jermaine Stroughter's attorney, wrote that his client's participation in the drug conspiracy was 'minor'

Jermaine Stroughter and Troy Pollard, charged in a Youngstown-area drug trafficking case.

Jermaine Stroughter (left) and Troy Pollard

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A federal judge this week approved a guilty plea by one of 12 defendants in a Youngstown-area drug conspiracy case while another defendant in the case is asking for a lenient sentence.

U.S. Magistrate Judge William Baughman recommended Tuesday that a guilty plea by Troy Pollard, 35, to a count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in the U.S. Northern District Court Of Ohio, should be accepted.

The recommendation was accepted by Judge Solomon Oliver Jr.

A sentencing date has not been set yet.

Another defendant in the case, Jermaine Stroughter, 39, submitted a sentencing memorandum asking for a lenient sentence in the case.

Stroughter pleaded guilty June 25 to a single count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Sentencing is set for Thursday.

David Betras, Stroughter’s attorney, wrote that his client’s participation in the conspiracy was “minor.” Stroughter was only caught on tape one time negotiating the sale of two ounces of cocaine, Betras wrote.

His client is the father of six children ranging in age from one month to 19 and was raised by an aunt since the age of 10. He witnessed a shooting at a high school football game and was also wounded himself by a bullet at the age of 13. He has been smoking marijuana since he was 12, Betras wrote.

Betras asked for probation but added if prison is deemed necessary, his client should receive a sentence of 21 to 27 months in prison.

The members of the ring are charged with selling cocaine along with some heroin and fentanyl in 2016 and also between May and November 2017.

Investigators used wiretaps to make their case, and the 57-page indictment is replete with details such as codewords for drugs and one of the members of the ring complaining that he has to cook the cocaine base into crack because everyone else’s cooking skills are subpar.

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