The young man convicted of receiving a synthetic drug in the mail cried and put his head on the table many times while his defense attorney spoke to the judge Thursday.
Former Bellevue resident Jacob T. Frost, 21, now of Cleveland, pleaded "no contest" in September in attempted possession of methylone for a Jan. 13 incident. He used the Internet to order the drug from China using the Internet. Officers had called the drug crystal methamphetamine when they field-tested the methylone.
Huron County Public Defender David Longo said the substance Frost ordered was supposed to be JWH (aka J-Dub), a synthetic equivalent of THC, a chief component of marijuana. It was reportedly was legal at time.
"That's what he ordered; that's not what he got," Longo said. "He never ordered methylone in the first place."
Federal authorities intercepted the package, which contained several items, including 293 grams of methylone, in the Cincinnati airport.
Bellevue Interim Police Chief Matt Johnson received a call from an agent with the Department of Homeland Security, who advised him officials had "an anticipatory search warrant" ready for the delivery to Frost at his Bellevue residence.
Frost freely admitted to officers he was a synthetic marijuana user, Longo said, but told them the methylone wasn't for distribution.
"I realize he's an adult, but he's more like a kid who made an incredibly dumb mistake," Longo told the judge.
Frost's uncle recommended the court consider placing his nephew on probation.
"Prison would do him no good," the uncle said. "He's been doing just great the last 10 months."
"There's a presumption for prison," Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said about the third-degree felony punishable by nine months to three years.
Citing Frost's pre-sentence interview, Leffler said Frost told probation officers he didn't see anything wrong with selling drugs.
"We don't think that's the proper attitude," said the prosecutor, who recommended a two-year prison term.
After hearing from everyone, Huron County Common Pleas Judge Jim Conway said he originally planned on handing down a prison sentence, but said he recently received information that Frost is eligible to be in a community-based corrections facility (CBCF). Defendants spend four to six months in CBCFs, a form of prison which focuses on substance abuse treatment and education.
"The court takes a harsh stand on methamphetamine," said Conway, who wouldn't comment on whether he believed Frost's account of the events. "You have to realize the danger in that."
Frost was ordered to complete the program at the CBCF. The defendant, who is subject to random drug screens, was fined $5,000 -- the mandatory minimum. He also had his driver's license suspended for six months and must reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation $40 for drug testing.
If Frost violates the terms of his three years of intense probation, he faces three years in prison. Frost was transported to the Huron County Jail to await being screened for possible acceptance into a CBCF.