A former Franklin Township man has been sentenced to three years in prison for growing marijuana and possessing methamphetamine at his Ravenna Road residence in September.
A female accomplice, meanwhile, has been granted court-ordered drug treatment in lieu of a felony conviction for her role in the crimes.
Donald L. Ross, 36, now of Solon, was sentenced Monday, May 8, by Common Pleas Judge Becky Doherty, based on guilty pleas to two counts of endangering children and one count of aggravated possession of drugs, all third-degree felonies, and cultivation of marijuana, a fourth-degree felony, that he entered in February.
Credited with three days already served in jail, Ross also was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $333 in court costs, as well as to forfeit $350 in illegal drug profits to the Portage County Drug Task Force. Doherty ordered him held in the Portage County jail for two weeks following sentencing before he was to be transported to prison.
The same day, co-defendant Amaryah L. Benjamin, 26, most recently of 231 N. Bissell Road in Aurora, was granted drug treatment intervention in lieu of conviction by Doherty after pleading guilty in February to two counts of attempted endangering of children, both fourth-degree felonies. Finding that Benjamin is drug dependent and that drug use was a factor in her crime, Doherty ordered Benjamin to complete a yearlong treatment program to be overseen by the Adult Probation Department.
Benjamin must refrain from using alcohol or illegal drugs for one year, submit to random drug tests, attend counseling and two recovery meetings per week for one year, Doherty ordered. If she fails to abide by the court's ruling, she faces up to 18 months in prison on each charge, the judge warned.
Ross and Benjamin were arrested Sept. 29 by drug task force agents at 952 Ravenna Road, where they were found in possession of more than 200 grams of marijuana they intended to sell, along with meth, grow lights, pots and chemicals to grow marijuana, as well as a vacuum sealer and baggies used to package illegal drugs for sale.
Two children, ages 2 and 2 months, were present at the time of the crimes, according to their indictment.