Appellate court overturns man's conviction in drug ring

Justin Baker (Source: Warren County Jail)
Justin Baker (Source: Warren County Jail)

MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - The Twelfth District Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a Hamilton County man for multiple counts of trafficking in, cultivation of, and possession of marijuana, as well as possession of criminal tools, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Justin Baker was arrested after a police investigation targeted Baker for his drug-related crimes. Police began to suspect Baker after the Warren County Drug Task Force arrested a Mason High School student for selling marijuana to other teens.

The teen was apprehended and agreed to work with the Task Force by arranging a drug purchase with his supplier. The teenager's supplier was also apprehended and agreed to assist the Task Force by arranging a buy from his supplier, a married couple. The married couple was also apprehended and also agreed to assist the Task Force by recording a conversation with Baker where they talked about purchasing marijuana from Baker in the past, as well as cultivation of marijuana techniques.

Baker, who grew hundreds of marijuana plants in a house and warehouse, was arrested and charged in Warren County.

Baker appealed to the Twelfth District and argued that Warren County was not the proper venue to bring the charges against him because none of his crimes occurred in Warren County.

Writing for a unanimous court, Judge Robin N. Piper found that venue was improper in Warren County. Presiding Judge Robert P. Ringland and Judge Mike Powell concurred in the opinion.

The decision of the Twelfth District Court of Appeals reversed and vacated Baker's convictions.

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