Prosecutors want Joseph Maderitz, a former probation officer, to be incarcerated.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A former juvenile probation officer for Mahoning County will be sentenced in July for selling the party drug Ecstasy.
Joseph Maderitz, 32, of North Hazelwood Avenue, pleaded guilty last week in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs.
He will be sentenced July 18 by Judge Maureen A. Cronin. According to court documents, Maderitz faces 18 months to 61/2 years in prison, or could be placed on probation.
Robert Duffrin, assistant prosecutor, said he will ask that Maderitz serve time in either the county jail or a state prison, depending on the outcome of a presentence background check by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority.
"I think those are the only two options that we're considering," Duffrin said. Judge Cronin will have the final say in sentencing.
County worker: Maderitz had worked for the county nearly six years before being indicted in August 2000. The indictment and Maderitz's subsequent arrest followed a six-week investigation by local police.
Authorities allege that Maderitz twice sold Ecstasy to an undercover agent, including once in the parking lot of the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center, where Maderitz was working at the time.
Duffrin said there is no evidence that Maderitz was selling the drug to juveniles housed at the facility. Maderitz lost his job at the juvenile center June 28, 2000, the day he was arrested.
Authorities say Maderitz received at least three shipments of the drug from Los Angeles via Colorado.
Alleged profits: Agents from the Mahoning Valley Drug Task Force said Maderitz probably sold 100 to 150 pills a month, making about a $700 monthly profit. They said Ecstasy, a popular party drug, sells for about $25 to $40 per pill.
When he was arrested and arraigned, Maderitz claimed to be indigent and a lawyer was assigned to him. However, Judge Cronin later ruled that he was not indigent because he had been earning some $27,000 a year at the juvenile facility until his arrest.
His court-appointed attorney was removed from the case and Maderitz was ordered to hire his own lawyer. He has retained Atty. Thomas Zena.