Mother and son plead guilty to drug charges



Undercover officers bought about 34 pounds of bulk marijuana.
By ED RUNYAN
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
WARREN -- Robert Boone and his mother, Sharon Boone, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking and corruption charges Friday after a day of negotiations -- resulting in a 30-month prison sentence for him and agreement to turn over a Cadillac Escalade and 39,000 in cash and fines.
Robert D. Boone, 26, of 5339 Pierce Road, Champion, said by authorities to be the main player in a drug dealing operation in central Trumbull County, pleaded guilty in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court to seven charges, including marijuana trafficking and possession, and attempting to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Judge Andrew Logan sentenced him to 30 months; he has been in jail since February and will get credit for time served there.
Sharon Boone, 46, also of the Pierce Road address, pleaded guilty to complicity to trafficking in marijuana and permitting drug abuse. She will be sentenced after the county's Adult Probation Department conducts a presentence investigation.
Undercover agents from the Trumbull, Ashtabula, Geauga Counties Law Enforcement Task Force either bought or made a down payment on 34 pounds of marijuana from Robert Boone in three separate buys in 2005.
Value of drugs
Chuck Morrow, assistant Trumbull County prosecutor, said Boone was selling marijuana in bulk amounts. The value of the drugs confiscated would have been between 34,000 and 68,000.
Using a search warrant, officers confiscated 18,800 in cash from a safe in Boone's house, a handgun and other items, Morrow said. Some 5,000 of that was money the undercover agents gave Boone to buy the drugs.
Prosecutors had initially sought to confiscate the Pierce Road house but dropped that during negotiations with Robert and Sharon Boone lasting much of the afternoon.
By agreement, 75 percent of the cash and assets confiscated will be turned over to TAG, with the remainder going to the prosecutor's office, Morrow said. Forfeiture money of this type helps provide operating funds for TAG.
Sharon Boone's convictions could result in probation or up to 30 months in prison.
Two others plead guilty
Two other defendants in the yearlong investigation, dubbed Operation Green Tree because task force members determined that they were interrupting small criminal groups, or branches, with multiple ties to the Boone family, have already pleaded guilty to various crimes.
Jason Washington, 31, of Terra Alta Street, Warren, is expected to get a three-year prison sentence for drug trafficking charges and agreed to pay a 10,000 fine and forfeit 4,030 in cash.
Robert Zadai, 26, of Shafer Road, Champion, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges and agreed to forfeit a car. Prosecutors are recommending a one-year prison sentence.
Cases are still pending against three other members of the drug ring.
runyan@vindy.com

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