A Columbus man caught in the Dayton area trying to retrieve more than $500,000 worth of drugs was sentenced in U.S. District Court.
David Price, 32, was sentenced by Magistrate Michael Newman to time served and supervised release as part of a plea agreement. Both the defense and prosecutors in the case filed a sentencing memorandum with the court that said the alleged offense was serious, but that Price has improved his lifestyle since being released on bond and didn’t deserve a prison sentence.
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Price’s legal troubles began in August 2018 when the Montgomery County Sheriff Office discovered almost 10 pounds of drugs worth $500,000. The drugs included fentanyl and were transported to Ohio from Mexico, according to the sheriff’s office.
A criminal complaint filed in court provides more details about how an Aug. 8, 2018, stop of a car hauler carrying an Acura TL and a BMW led to drugs being found in the natural voids of both rear fenders of the Acura. The car hauler driver told investigators he picked up the Acura in California and was to deliver it to a parking lot at the Dayton Mall in exchange for $950. The driver said no one was there to pick up the car but that he was directed to stay in the Dayton area another night for an extra $100.
According to the complaint, the driver — who denied knowledge of drugs in the Acura — told investigators no one showed up again, but he agreed to deliver the car to a different location.
Sham narcotics were placed in the car, and a person told the driver by telephone that he would be paid an extra $200 to deliver the car to a Franklin business. Agents received a search warrant to attach a GPS unit to the Acura.
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On Aug. 9, agents were told a towing company placed the Acura on a flatbed truck, which was driven to a Huber Heights location. Agents later observed Price and another man manipulating the interior of the Acura, and they were arrested.
In his message to the judge before sentencing, Price’s attorney said he was battling a severe marijuana addiction that impacted his judgment. Price hadn’t committed a felony before agreeing to take part in the criminal ploy, the defense said, and he regrets his decision.
“Mr. Price understands this now and has used every day since his release on bond to demonstrate he is a changed man,” the defense said. “Mr. Price is a loving father and a good man, not a member of a drug trafficking organization. He did not appreciate the seriousness of his conduct but now understands how dangerous this drug is.”
A message to his defense attorney wasn’t returned this week.
Prosecutors also said supervised release was appropriate.
“Mr. Price has a well-documented history of being a positive and contributing member of this community,” the prosecutor said in its filing. “Give this fact, this defendant is unlikely to repeat this serious mistake and venture into the drug trade again.”
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