A Sandy Township man was sentenced to eight years in prison in a high-volume marijuana case. Douglas L. Stevens was found in possession of more than 65,000 grams of marijuana, according to investigators.
Ed Balint CantonRep.com staff writer @ebalintREP
CANTON A Sandy Township man will spend eight years in prison for having more than 140 pounds of marijuana, part of his large-scale, sophisticated growing operation in southern Stark County.
Douglas L. Stevens, 54, pleaded no contest Tuesday in Stark County Common Pleas Court to charges of trafficking in marijuana, illegal manufacture of drugs, illegal cultivation of marijuana, marijuana trafficking and marijuana possession, all second-degree felonies. He also pleaded no contest to illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, a third-degree felony.
A second-degree felony carries two to eight years in prison. Under Ohio law, given the amount of marijuana, Judge Taryn Heath said she was required to sentence Stevens to the minimum-mandatory sentence of eight years in prison. The state legislature “has taken away my discretion,” she said in response to issues raised by Stevens’ attorney, Jeff Jakmides.
Heath sentenced Stevens to eight years in prison on the illegal cultivation of marijuana charge and fives years each on the marijuana possession and marijuana trafficking counts and allowed the terms to run at the same time.
Stevens was found with several hundred marijuana plants totaling more than 65,000 grams, according to investigators.
The crime lab didn’t weigh an estimated three-fourths of the marijuana because Stevens had more than three times the amount needed under the law for a minimum-mandatory prison sentence, Heath said.
“God knows what the (total amount) would have been,” she said during the court hearing.
“This was not a personal usage situation,” Heath said. “This was big business. … If you would have applied your