Heroin trafficking brings 4 1/2-year prison term

By Peter H. Milliken

milliken@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A 26-year-old Roy Street man has been sentenced to 41/2 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to two counts of heroin trafficking and one count each of heroin possession and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court imposed the sentence Friday on Bruce A. Dawson, one of six people alleged to have participated in a heroin distribution ring based on the city’s West Side that operated between December 2011 and November 2012.

Co-defendants Christopher Johnson, 24, of Rush Boulevard, and Dennis J. Sklenchar Jr., 20, of Staatz Drive, each got four years in prison after they pleaded guilty to heroin trafficking and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Robert A. Basic, 37, of Oak Trace, got probation after pleading guilty to permitting drug abuse by knowingly driving a car used in illegal drug activity.

Shauna Lee Barber, 27, of Connecticut Avenue, has pleaded guilty to heroin possession and trafficking and will be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 6.

The purported ringleader, John Skarada, 38, of Connecticut Avenue, awaits an Oct. 27 jury trial and faces at least 11 years in prison if he’s convicted of all counts.

Judge Evans recently revoked bond and jailed Dawson and Barber after they tested positive for illegal drugs. Barber tested positive for heroin, and Dawson was positive for cocaine.

Dawson will get credit for 211 jail days he’s already served.

Skarada and Barber were apprehended during a traffic stop in Trumbull County as they were returning from Detroit with several hundred grams of heroin, said Martin P. Desmond, an assistant county prosecutor.

There are 28 grams in an ounce.

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