PDT Staff Writer
Judge William T. Marshall has sentenced a Columbus man to 12 years in prison after a Scioto County Common Pleas Court jury deliberated for just two hours before finding him guilty of the charges against him. John H. West, 25, was convicted Tuesday of drug trafficking, drug possession, and possession of criminal tools.
West was arrested on July 27, 2011, after officers of the Portsmouth Police Department Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at the 16th Street Apartments in Portsmouth. The unit was investigating complaints of trafficking in crack cocaine in the Farley Square area, particularly in Bannon Park. After an informant purchased crack cocaine on July 22, 25 and 26, 2011, officers obtained a search warrant for the apartments and arrested West, his girlfriend, Shelby Nelson, 19, and Breon Kelly, 23, also of Columbus.
Under questioning from Assistant Scioto County Prosecutors Pat Apel and Julie Hutchinson, witnesses testified that, during the months of June and July of 2011, West and Nelson traveled to Columbus every other day to get a re-supply of one-and-a-half- to two-ounces of crack cocaine, returned to Portsmouth and sold the crack cocaine in the Bannon Park area. Testimony indicated West sold to drug dealers as well as street users.
Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said West has served prison time for crack cocaine possession in Franklin County as well as forgery in Scioto County. West currently has felonious assault and child endangering charges pending in Franklin County, as well as additional crack cocaine trafficking charges in Scioto County. Nelson entered a plea of guilty on trafficking charges and received a sentence of four years in prison.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.