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‘You miss a session, you go to prison,’ judge tells strip club manager accompanied by his grandmother in court

A 37-year-old Montgomery County man was sentenced to three years on probation for his part in trafficking in cocaine and illegally operating a sexually oriented business, the New York, New York strip club in Franklin.

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Michael Reese, a Miamisburg resident and club manager, appeared before Judge Timothy Tepe with his grandmother with whom he lives along with children, 1, 2 and 3 years old, he told the judge during a hearing Friday in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Reese, another manager, a dancer and the club itself were indicted in November after a joint investigation involving law enforcement officers from Franklin police, the Ohio Investigative Unit and the Warren County Drug Task Force.

“Although there have been strong suspicions for several years, through this investigation, law enforcement officers were able to directly observe significant drug trafficking and other illegal activity at New York, New York strip club. On one occasion, several customers were at the club waiting to buy cocaine,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said in a statement issued at the time of the indictment.

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On Friday, Tepe warned Reese he would go to prison for 12 months if he failed to meet the conditions of his probation, including substance abuse treatment and “intensive supervision” to ensure he abstained from using drugs or alcohol.

“You miss a session, you go to prison,” Tepe said.

Last month, Tepe granted the dancer, Courtney Rogers, 25, of Springfield treatment in lieu of conviction She was indicted on the same charges filed against Reese.

Two other dancers were convicted on prostitution charges in Franklin Municipal Court.

The other manager, Mark G. Butterfield III, 27, of Cincinnati, Ohio, has yet to be arraigned for permitting drug abuse, according to court records.

And the business itself is scheduled for another hearing in April.

The case began in December 2016, plain-clothes law enforcement officers began an investigation into reported drug trafficking activity at New York, New York strip club in Franklin, according to a November press release from Fornshell. On multiple occasions, officers observed Reese, the night manager at New York, New York, provide cocaine to Rogers, a dancer with the stage name “Giselle,” who in turn sold the cocaine to customers, the release said.

RELATED: Manager pleads guilty in Franklin strip club case

At least one drug trafficking transaction occurred directly in front of Butterfield, the day manager at New York, New York. Reese and N.Y.N.Y., Inc. were also charged with misdemeanor counts for permitting nude dancing in the establishment after midnight in violation of Ohio law, according to the release.

In January, Reese pleaded guilty to cocaine trafficking, illegally operating a sexually oriented business possession of cocaine and permitting drug abuse, all low-level felonies or misdemeanors, setting the stage for Friday’s sentencing.

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