Prison time on drug charges

An Akron man already serving time for crimes in Summit County was sentenced to more prison time Wednesday in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

Paul D. Minks, 27, was sentenced on two fifth-degree felony charges of drug possession -one for marijuana and one for cocaine.

The charges stem from a Dec. 23, 2011 traffic stop near mile marker 13 on Interstate 77. An officer from the Ohio State Highway Patrol found a bag of cocaine and a large bag of marijuana in a vehicle where Minks was the passenger, said Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

“The officer checked the computer and found there was a felony warrant on the passenger, Minks. On the warrant was a note that the suspect had violent tendencies and was known to abuse drugs,” said Schneider.

A K-9 hit on the trunk of the vehicle. Inside was a locked safe which belonged to Minks, he said.

Minks gave officers the key and inside were the drugs, two sets of scales, two smoking pipes and a box of plastic bags, said Schneider.

Minks had originally been indicted on a fourth-degree felony charge of trafficking in marijuana, a fifth-degree felony count of trafficking in cocaine and two fifth-degree possession of drugs charges.

However, Minks could only ultimately be charged with either trafficking or possession, said Schneider.

On Jan. 15 he pleaded guilty to the two fifth-degree felony counts of possession of drugs, said Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Burnworth.

Minks wore a neutral expression throughout the sentencing and did not comment before Burnworth handed down his sentence.

“The court finds that the defendant is not amenable to community control and a prison term is consistent with the purposes of sentencing,” said Burnworth.

Burnworth sentenced Minks to the maximum 12 months in prison on each fifth-degree count.

Typically, Ohio law does not allow for a prison sentence for fifth- and fourth-degree felony convictions unless they meet certain criteria. In Minks’ case, having prior felony convictions made him prison eligible.

Minks is currently finishing out an 18-month prison term in the Marion Correctional Institute for four felony charges committed in Summit County.

There, Minks was convicted of a third-degree felony charge of escape, a third-degree felony charge of having weapons under a disability, a fourth-degree felony charge of receiving stolen property and a fifth-degree felony charge of illegally manufacturing or processing explosives.

“These sentences will run concurrent to one another and concurrent with the sentence you are currently serving,” said Burnworth.

The concurrent sentencing means Minks will not have to wait for his current May release date to start running the clock on Wednesday’s sentence.

He will also get credit for the 113 days he has spent awaiting sentencing, said Burnworth.