WILMINGTON — A 58-year-old Blanchester man, who said he has been addicted for 45 years, received five years of prison for making methamphetamines.
Ricky Williams was sentenced to five years of prison for a second-degree felony charge of illegally manufacturing drugs by Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck. Three of those years are mandatory.
Initially, county prosecutors and Williams’ attorney, Jacob Wagoner, had reached a plea agreement to recommend four years imprisonment, but Williams didn’t show for his sentencing hearing in March. He was apprehended a month later in April.
As such, assistant county prosecutor Andrew McCoy argued the sentence should be increased from the agreed-upon four years as a deterrent to others who might not appear for sentencing.
Wagoner argued for the original four year sentence, saying Williams visited a family member and found himself stranded without transportation.
“Ever since I was 13, I’ve had an addiction,” Williams said. “That’s the bottom line. … I just want to get through this and get my life straightened back out and turned around so I can be there for my grandkids and my son.”
Rudduck, who pointed out that he wasn’t bound to accept any plea agreement, said Williams could have requested a continuance and also had a month to get in touch with his attorney or turn himself in. Rudduck also said Williams failed to offer an explanation to the court explaining why he failed to appear.
“I have the philosophy that addiction is a health issue, and we’ve established drug courts here to try to help people with addiction, so I have a lot of empathy for folks who are addicted,” Rudduck said. “This is not about addiction. This is about manufacturing methamphetamine.
“Manufacturing methamphetamine is dangerous, not only to those who participate in the activity but also to the surrounding neighbors – fires have started, explosions have occurred,” Rudduck continued. “And on top of that, methamphetamine, as you should well know, is a dangerous, vile, highly addictive drug that has affected so many people in this community that I can’t count” them all.
The illegal manufacturing charge was amended from a first-degree felony, and charges of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs, endangering children, aggravated possession of drugs and possession of criminal tools against Williams were dismissed as part of the initial plea agreement.
Rudduck also suspended Williams’ operating license for five years and ordered him to pay court costs. Upon release from prison, Williams shall be monitored by post-release supervision for three years. Williams has 30 days to appeal Rudduck’s decision.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.