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Man says dealing drugs only work he could get

Published: Fri, August 23, 2013 @ 12:03 a.m.

By Joe Gorman



When Symeon Bankston got out of prison the last time for dealing drugs, he asked friends for help in finding a job.

All they could offer him was the chance to deal more drugs, Bankston, 32, said just before he was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday on two drug-trafficking charges.

“When I asked for help, they offered me crack,” Bankston told Judge Maureen Sweeney in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. “The only thing I could get was to sell drugs, drugs, drugs.”

Bankston had pleaded guilty in two separate cases to charges of possession of heroin and possession of cocaine. The four-year sentence was agreed upon by defense attorney Martin Yavorcik and Assistant Prosecutor Rob Andrews.

Court records show Bankston has drug charges and convictions dating back to 2005, and he has been in prison at least twice, once after being convicted after a 2005 trial for possession of drugs and in 2010 for a probation violation.

Yavorcik said his client has never been charged or convicted of any crime of violence but that he dealt drugs as a way to survive, Yavorcik said Bankston tried to move in with his mother but is not allowed because she lives in a housing project that does not accept convicted felons.

Bankston told Judge Sweeney he got a certificate to be a dental assistant and worked somewhere but got laid off. He tried to go other places to get work, but they either wouldn’t take a convicted felon or he had to have a record of employment elsewhere before he could be accepted.

“I was in a situation where I was pinched for cash,” Bankston said. “I did it, and I got caught up in it. I’m not an animal. I’m not vicious. It’s just the economy.”

Bankston also asked if he could have extra time to report to prison because his mother is scheduled for surgery. Judge Sweeney gave him 30 days from Thursday to report, but she warned Bankston that if he does not show up on time, she will vacate the agreed-upon sentence and sentence him to far more than four years in prison.


1michael1757(490 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Just think,you asked your friends for help,& they offered you crack.Ya think it's time to change friends? Don't give me that,I couldn't find a job.I'd bet McDonalds would've hired him.How many applications did he put in? And if drugs got you put in prison before,are you that dense to think the cops aren't watching you when you got out.You have to prove yourself.YOU,go get the job,friends aren't going to come to your house asking you if you like to help build this deck,or stock these shelves.If your broke,find anything.Cut grass if you have to & maybe someone will think your serious about getting any kind of jjob.

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2mouse(112 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

We need to wake up in this country & stop blaming our dog for poor decisions!

Some times I think that what these guys need is a trip to Iraq & Afghanistan to see how great our veterans have it....

Remember the old saying: I cried because I had no shoes......Then I met a man who had no feet!

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3kensgirl(1061 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

There are a lot of companies that employ ex felons and drug addicts. Go to your local counselor for names. This guy has a million excuses. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and man up. Society is tired of people like you. You are a drain on our resources and patience!!!

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4southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

It is rather tragic that your friends are worthless...of course that is what happens when you make poor decisions.

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5kpgibbs(1 comment)posted 1 year, 10 months ago

there are a lot of company's that hire felons just as there's a lot company's that hire high school drop out but felonys was design to be seen ..and affect your life....if someone fills out an app without felony @ a felony hiring facility that person will get the job even if you a felon has all the credential and experience so that being said people should be forgiving once time served there records should be sealed....unless there sex offender or a killer those are thing employers need to know

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