Man gets 10 years on drug charges

By John W. Goodwin Jr.


A 35-year-old city man will spend at least the next 10 years in prison for his involvement in what Mahoning County prosecutors said were major drug sales in the city.

Freddie Fred of Youngstown appeared Thursday before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas court for sentencing on five felony drug charges. Fred could have been sentenced to eight years in prison on each of the five counts.

Fred also is on parole for a previous federal drug conviction, meaning he likely will be sentenced to an additional six years in federal prison after serving his time in the state penitentiary.

Before the judge handed down the sentence, Martin Desmond, an assistant county prosecutor, detailed Fred’s criminal history. Fred has convictions for domestic violence, disorderly conduct and conspiracy to distribute cocaine, for which he spent 67 months in federal prison.

Desmond told the court it was shortly after Fred was released from federal prison and placed on parole that he began dealing in drugs again, leading to his arrest with the help of a confidential informant.

Desmond recommended a 10-year sentence for Fred — two years’ incarceration on each of the five felony counts against him.

Atty. Dennis DiMartino, representing Fred, told the court his client did not start getting into serious trouble with the law until he was in his late 20s and is now taking full responsibility for his crimes.

DiMartino said after his client’s release from federal prison, Fred wanted to start a legitimate towing business to support his wife and children, but he could not secure funding to start the business. He said Fred was working a low-paying job and getting further in debt when he met up with old acquaintances and decided to make illegal drug transactions.

“He wanted to make enough money to pay off some basic bills, buy a tow truck, then get out [of drug dealing],” DiMartino said.

He asked the court to impose a six-year sentence.

Fred apologized to the judge and people in the community.

“I realize I hurt the people in the Mahoning Valley. I’m not the person that people portray me to be. I am a family man. My past caught up with my present,” he said.

Judge Krichbaum said there were some factors he could not ignore when passing sentence.

“The fact that he was in the federal penitentiary for as long as he was and still got in trouble is something that any court should take into consideration,” the judge said. “I just can’t convince myself that you deserve a break other than what the state has decided is a break. ... You keep doing this over and over again, and every time you do it you put the community at risk and thumb your nose at authorities.”

In addition to the 10-year prison sentence, Judge Krichbaum ruled that Fred also must forfeit a truck and automobile.

Fred will be given credit for the 113 days he spent in the county jail awaiting sentencing.

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