YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A federal judge last month granted early release to a man sentenced in 2019 to nine years in prison in a drug case for medical reasons.
U.S. Judge Dan Aaron Polster in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio wrote that Robert Taylor, 61, of Youngstown, would be credited for time served after he filed a motion for a reduction in sentence because of a staph infection on his knee.
Judge Polster wrote Sept. 23 granting Taylor early release that a Bureau of Prisons doctor said that the only way to treat Taylor would be an amputation above the knee while another doctor said that an amputation may not be necessary.
Taylor asked for a third opinion, but the prison’s warden denied the request, so he filed the motion for early release.
“Obviously, Defendant Taylor does not want to lose his leg,” Judge Polster wrote.
Taylor was indicted in April 2019 along with eight people for selling drugs in Youngstown and in Western Pennsylvania. He was sentenced in November 2019 to 109 months in prison by Judge Polster after he pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine.
Prosecutors said Taylor was the main supplier of cocaine to the other defendants who then sold the drugs across the area.
Prosecutors also seized $149,465 cash, along with four guns that were found when a search warrant was served at Taylor’s home during the case.
Taylor had a 9mm pistol, a .12-gauge shotgun, a .410-gauge shotgun and a 5.56mm semiautomatic rifle in his home, prosecutors said.
Taylor was originally set to be released in February of 2026.
Judge Polster noted in his ruling that Taylor is obese and needs a wheelchair to get around. He said Taylor’s condition presents an “extraordinary and compelling reason” for early release under federal law.
“Here there is no question that Defendant Taylor has a serious medical condition and that his request for another medical opinion is reasonable,” Judge Polster wrote.
Judge Polster also wrote that because of Taylor’s age and medical condition, his chances of reoffending are low. He also has a plan for his release to live with his family, Judge Polster wrote.
Taylor was placed on six months of house arrest and five years of supervised release as well.