Mass drug case pushed to September

Defense attorney seeks more prep time

By Maximilian Kwiatkowski -

Margarito Sanchez

Margarito Sanchez

The trial of a Mexican national charged with possession of mass amounts of drugs has been pushed back until September.

Margarito Sanchez, 32, was in Madison County Common Pleas Court with his attorney, Edward Yim for an informal pretrial hearing Monday over two first degree felony charges of possessing about 2.2 pounds of cocaine and about 2 pounds of methamphetamine.

During the proceedings, Yim confirmed with Judge Eamon Costello that he discussed with Sanchez last Friday on waiving his right to a speedy trial.

In Ohio, an individual charged with a felony must have their case resolved within 270 days. Each day that individual spends in jail counts as three days. Defendants may waive that right to be heard quickly, but only through a written waiver signed in open court.

“We were seeking additional prep time in working out this case,” Yim told The Press. “We are looking to explore more options and avenues.”

The motion was granted by Costello after Sanchez signed a waiver and confirmed through the use of an interpreter he understood his rights under American law.

Now Sanchez’s formal pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 7 at 9 a.m. while a jury trial is scheduled for Sept. 19 at 9 a.m.

Sanchez’s charges stem from a traffic stop in early June.

According to a Madison County Sheriff’s report, deputies stopped a black Ford F-150 pick-up driven by Sanchez at about 2:30 a.m. on June 9 for failing to display a front Ohio license plate and changing lanes without signaling. The stop occurred in the eastbound lane of the freeway near the State Route 142 interchange.

A drug dog borrowed from Hilliard found the pounds of drugs in an amplifier on the vehicle’s floorboard. Another search found several thousand American dollars in the purse of his passenger, Silvia Franco Rodriguez.

Speaking through an interpreter, the 26-year-old woman said the couple was traveling from Texas to the home of her relative in Clarksville, Tenn. Rodriguez’ child was also a passenger in the vehicle.

Because of the amount involved, the maximum prison sentence for Sanchez is 10 years for each charge, for a total of 20 years, and a maximum fine of $40,000.

Specifications to the charges include forfeiture of cash and vehicles involved with the alleged crime.

Other cases heard Monday:

• David Sias, 32, of London, chose to retain his attorney, Steve Fox after a hearing over changing attorneys. Sias claimed he wasn’t getting enough information from Fox, such as his trial date or the discovery packet.

Costello noted Fox had made several motions for his client, including suppression of certain pieces of evidence, which he said indicated some significant effort.

Sias rescinded his motion, apologizing.

He is charged with illegal manufacturing of meth, a first-degree felony, illegal assembly of the chemicals to make meth, a second-degree felony, and possession of meth, also a second-degree felony.

On June 19, Sias was offered a plea agreement after a lengthy back and forth between the prosecution and the defense, over the defense’s motion to suppress statements made by Sias to a Madison County detective. Fox had argued his sixth amendment rights had been violated.

The motion was dropped later that day and Sias was offered a plea agreement to serve four years in prison with the prosecution dropping illegal manufacturing and possession of meth charges. He rejected the deal and said he planned on going to trial, which was pushed back to an unspecified date after mentioning he had additional witnesses for his attorney to speak with.

Sias is the fourth to be charged after a meth lab bust on Karen Drive in Somerford Township last January. Travis Basham, John McCoy and Scott Caudill have all been convicted and sentenced on similar charges.

Margarito Sanchez Sanchez
Defense attorney seeks more prep time

By Maximilian Kwiatkowski