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'He hates the label of drug dealer'

Cary Ashby • Apr 6, 2014 at 10:07 AM

"He hates the label of drug dealer ... but he did admit he sold drugs on that occasion."

That's what defense attorney James Mayer III told the judge Wednesday about his client, Dustin Booker.

The 27-year-old former Tiro resident who now lives in Georgetown, Ky. pleaded guilty in early February to selling .01 grams of heroin to a confidential informant March 19, 2013. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors agreed to downgrade the charge from a fourth-degree felony to a fifth-degree felony and removed the language that indicated the transaction took place near a school.

After the incident, Booker voluntarily checked himself into the Rainbow Center, a substance abuse treatment center in Monroe, Mich. Mayer said his client was in the program for about seven months and for the last several weeks, he's been participating in a similar program in Frankfort, Ky.

"He intends to continue with that counseling," Mayer added.

Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said Booker likely has a low chance to re-offend since he has moved out this area and doesn't have his previous associations and is the father of a 10-month-old child. The judge also credited the defendant with seeming to take his sobriety seriously.

As part of Booker's three years of probation, he was fined $500. He also must reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation $35 to cover the cost of drug testing.

Booker faces a 90-day jail term, which can be scheduled at the discretion of his probation officer. The court authorized him to be supervised in Kentucky.

The defendant is subject to random drug screens and must undergo substance abuse treatment. If he violates the terms of their probation, he would face one year in prison.

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