Man sentenced for heroin trafficking

A Williamstown man who sold heroin was sentenced to three months in the Washington County Jail and five months at the SETPA Correctional Facility Thursday in Washington County Common Pleas Court.

Michael A. Snider, 39, of 518 Columbia Ave., was sentenced on a fifth-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs.

Snider sold small quantities of heroin to an undercover informant on consecutive days in early March.

The state had agreed to allow Snider to plead guilty to one of the two cases and recommend community control in the case with the understanding that Snider would pay restitution to the Major Crimes Task Force for the drug money, said Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

“There’s also a truck seized that he’ll agree to forfeit,” he said.

Snider will also forfeit $61 in cash that was found on him at his arrest which will be counted toward the $460 restitution he owes, said Schneider.

After a spotty juvenile record, Snider has had a nearly pristine adult record, noted his attorney Rolf Baumgartel.

“He has one criminal conviction in the past 20 years-an underage consumption in 1993. He’s had a good job, good work history,” he said.

Snider lost his job as a result of the crime and is currently behind on his child support payments, said Baumgartel.

He asked that his client be sentenced to a meager jail sentence so he could start looking for a job to pay restitution and his child support.

Washington County Common Pleas Judge Ed Lane also commented on the large gap in Snider’s criminal record.

“He has a horrible juvenile record and then nothing for 20 years, and here he falls off the wagon,” said Lane.

Snider’s juvenile record included what would have been considered four felonies had they been committed when he was an adult.

Snider insisted the drug deals were out of character.

“I’ve never done anything like that. I don’t do things like that. I’m not a drug dealer. I’m very sorry,” he said.

Snider was one of three men arrested May 8 during a traffic stop and accused of heroin trafficking.

Also in the car were Michael V. Richards, 36, of 1365 McGill Road, Vincent, and Joshua Gibson, 29, of 707 Front St., Marietta.

Richards, who had already had three previous heroin-related arrests in the past four months at that time, pleaded guilty in November to a second-degree felony charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and was sentenced last week to three years in prison.

Gibson was also indicted on a second-degree felony count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and a fourth-degree felony count of drug trafficking.

Lane sentenced Snider to 90 days in jail and a 150-day program at SEPTA Correctional Facility. However, Snider will be able to transfer to SEPTA after 60 days if a bed becomes available that early, said Lane.

He was also ordered to undergo evaluation for the court’s “Thinking For A Change” program and will participate in counseling at L&P Services, said Lane.

He was also ordered to four years of community control.