Jury Convicts East Columbus Heroin Trafficker
Public Affairs Officer
COLUMBUS – A U.S. District Court jury here today convicted Sontay T. Smotherman, 36, of Columbus of operating a drug house in east Columbus.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Robert Corso, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Stephanie R. Shoemaker, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Columbus Police Chief Kimberley Jacobs and Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott announced the verdict returned following a two-day trial before U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.
Testimony presented during the trial included that of a Columbus Police narcotics detective who said they seized approximately $10,000 in cash and more than $10,000 worth of heroin when task force officers executed a search warrant at the house. Testimony presented also showed that over three months in 2011 the conspiracy involved more than $100,000 in heroin distributed in Columbus. Four firearms were seized during the investigation.
Smotherman was one of five Columbus men charged in the case with conspiring to distribute heroin out of Smotherman’s residence at 401 Taylor Avenue. The jury convicted him of possession with intent to distribute heroin and one count of conspiracy. Each crime is punishable by at least five years and up to 40 years in prison.
The others charged have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and firearms charges. Bryan N. Johnson, 27, Arnett C. Smotherman, 35, and Waymon Price, 40, pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Frederick L. Carter pleaded guilty in September 2012 to conspiracy and a firearms charge. He was sentenced on January 7, 2013 to ten years in prison.
Smotherman was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service where he will be held until he is sentenced.
Stewart commended the cooperative investigation conducted by the agencies, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Hunter and Doug Squires, who are representing the United States in the case.