Mar 11, 2013

Mother and son plead guilty to Possession of Marijuana charges

BY RYAN BERRY
MANAGING EDITOR
GREENVILLE – William M. Colthar, Jr. and Michelle D. Colthar, represented by Thomas Collins, struck a deal with the Darke County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and pled guilty to Possession of Marijuana charges. The mother and son appeared before Common Pleas Court Judge Jonathan P. Hein on March 11 to hear the charges and accept the plea deal the day before their trial was set to start. The charges stem from an investigation by the Darke County Sheriff’s Department where officers found 250 marijuana plants on the Colthar’s property at 3938 Red River West Grove Road, Arcanum. The investigation was spurred by a tip that there was suspicious drug activity at the Colthar’s residence on Sept. 20, 2012.

The Colthars were originally indicted by the Darke County Grand Jury on two counts of Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana and Possession of Marijuana. Under the plea agreement, the Colthars had the first count of Illegal Cultivation of Marijuana dropped provided they plead guilty to the second count of Possession of Marijuana. William’s charge is a second degree felony punishable by a minimum mandatory sentence of five years and a maximum of eight years in jail. Michelle’s charge was amended to a third degree felony, which will allow for community control sanctions or up to a three year prison term. William also faces a minimum fine of $7,500 and Michelle could be fined $5,000.

Sentencing is scheduled for April 22 and R. Kelly Ormsby, prosecuting attorney, is asking the judge to impose a five-year sentence and $7,500 fine for William and community control sanctions and a $5,000 fine for Michelle. They would also be required to forfeit all firearms, drugs and drug paraphernalia seized during the investigation. The state is not seeking forfeiture of Colthar’s property.

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