YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A judge Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court told a man that he was sentencing on drug and gun charges that the man’s past criminal record made it hard to give him a break.

Kyree Grabe, 28, was being sentenced on charges of possession of cocaine, a second-degree felony; being a felon in possession of a firearm, a third-degree felony; and possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.

He was asking Judge Anthony Donofrio for a sentence of less than the 6 to 7 and a half years that Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Trapp had requested. Grabe said he is not a violent person, has spent most of his 20s in prison and has a two-year-old child.

“How am I supposed to answer that?” Judge Donofrio asked. “You keep putting yourself in these positions.”

The judge read off Grabe’s record, which began when he was a juvenile, and includes offenses of being in a criminal gang and for taking a cell phone during a murder investigation at the same West Side bar he was arrested at in 2020 while on parole, which led him to appear before the judge Thursday.

The case stems from an August 2020 arrest by Youngstown police across the street from the former All City Sports Bar on Mahoning Avenue.

At the time, officers were working a special detail in the area around the bar because of concerns about shootings, gunfire and other issues that impacted the area around the bar.

Police were standing on the corner of Mahoning and North Lakeview avenues to ensure a bar there was complying with state and local social distancing guidelines when Grabe pulled up on the sidewalk directly behind the officers and parked his car.

The officers told Grabe they would give him a parking ticket, and Grabe asked if he had to sign it, reports said.

When Grabe was told no, he left the car and went to walk into the bar, reports said. Reports said he left a back window down, and when an officer looked inside, the officer saw the butt end of a handgun sticking out from under a seat.

Officers grabbed Grabe and placed him under arrest for improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. They also searched him and found the cash and some drugs, reports said. Then, a large crowd appeared and several officers were called in because they were unruly.

Because of the crowd, the decision was made to tow the car to the B&O Station on lower Mahoning Avenue, where the car was searched. Inside the car, police found more crack cocaine and a large bag of heroin, along with a loaded .40-caliber handgun.

Grabe’s attorney, Mark Lavelle, filed a motion asking that the evidence seized by police be thrown out, and Judge Donofrio ruled in his favor. However, prosecutors appealed, and the Seventh District Court of Appeals reversed the ruling in May.

Because he pleaded guilty to the second-degree felony, Grabe must serve at least three years in prison before he is entitled to ask for an early release.

Trapp said Grabe has a long criminal record and keeps committing crimes while he is on probation and parole, which is why a lengthy prison sentence is necessary.

Grabe told the judge he has a drug problem, and his brother was killed in front of him.

“That should tell you something,” Judge Donofrio said.

“I’m always out partying,” Grabe answered. “That’s how I get gummed up.”

Judge Donofrio said Grabe is not only around the wrong people, but he is also making the wrong decisions.

“You keep engaging in the same behavior,” Judge Donofrio said. “You keep putting yourself in these situations.”