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YOUNGSTOWN Judge sentences former officer to 90 days



Published: Wed, August 15, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The former probation officer must undergo counseling for drug dependency.

By BOB JACKSON

VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER

YOUNGSTOWN -- After six years of overseeing juveniles who ran afoul of the law, Joseph Maderitz is on the other side of the probation equation.

Maderitz, 32, of North Hazelwood Avenue, will be on probation for three years after he completes a 90-day sentence in the Mahoning County Jail. He was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Maureen A. Cronin of common pleas court.

He is a former probation officer at the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center.

The judge ordered Maderitz to undergo drug rehabilitation through Community Corrections Association after his release from jail. His probation begins once he completes that four-month program.

Recommendation: Judge Cronin said she was tempted to send Maderitz to prison, but opted instead to follow a recommendation from the county prosecutor's office. She could have imposed up to 61/2 years in prison.

Maderitz sold a party drug known as Ecstasy to an undercover narcotics agent two times last summer. One of the transactions took place in the parking lot of the juvenile center, though defense attorney Thomas Zena stressed that no sales were ever made to children incarcerated there.

"That never happened," Zena said. "Nothing could be further from the truth."

Maderitz pleaded guilty a year ago to two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs. His sentencing was delayed so long because of prolonged health problems, Zena said.

Undercover: He said another JJC employee called the drug task force and reported that Ecstasy was available through Maderitz. The undercover agent then contacted Maderitz and the buys were made, he said.

"You might not have brought Ecstasy to the Mahoning Valley, but you sure made it known in this area," Judge Cronin said.

Until then, Maderitz had been a model employee with no history of work or criminal problems, Zena said. Maderitz was fired in June 2000, the same day he was arrested on the charges, and has been unable to find work since then.

"I made a huge, huge mistake," Maderitz told Judge Cronin. "I know I will never, ever make it again."

bjackson@vindy.com




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