Swain headed to prison over cocaine

MARIETTA – Despite his pleas for another chance at community control, a Summit County man will be headed to prison for allegedly trafficking drugs from a Marietta residence.

“I didn’t come here to cause no problems. I got three kids. They need me right now,” said Torrey Swain, 32, of Akron just before being sentenced Thursday.

Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane questioned why Swain was in Marietta with the five grams of cocaine officers found at the 121 Spring St. residence where Swain was staying with his 5-year-old daughter and her mother.

“Why were you here then? I mean it’s a free country but it makes it sound like you are coming into town to deal drugs,” said Lane.

Swain indicated he was in town to be with his daughter, who was living in Marietta at the time of his arrest in February 2012.

Swain’s attorney, public defender Ray Smith, recommended sentencing Swain to community control sanctions, a county jail stay and a five-month stay in the SEPTA Correctional Facility.

But Swain has previously violated community control sanctions and would not be a good candidate for them again, said Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

“He was on community control when this happened,” he argued.

He recommended a 17-month prison sentence, which Lane ultimately handed down.

Lane cited a prior criminal history which includes multiple felony convictions, prison stays and community control violations. Swain was charged in 1998 and again in 1999 with aggravated robbery. He has a 1999 conviction for felonious assault, said Lane.

“You’ve been given numerous opportunities by the state to turn your life around and you have violated community control multiple times,” he said.

The 17 months were one month short of the maximum Swain could have received on the fourth-degree felony drug trafficking charge to which he pleaded in January.

The plea, which was almost thrown out because Swain initially said the cocaine was for personal use, included the agreement that two other drug trafficking charges, for Suboxone and Xanax pills, would be dismissed.

Swain was caught with the cocaine and pills during the execution of a search warrant on Feb. 28, 2012. Summit County, which had a warrant for Swain’s arrest for a parole violation, suggested to the Major Crimes Task Force that Swain might be residing in Marietta.

But the manner of the arrest caused disagreement over how much credit Swain should get for time served.

Swain was arrested on Feb. 28 for the parole violation, not the drug charges, said Schneider. Therefore he should not get credit for any time he spent behind bars up to this point, he said.

“If they were here, I give them credit for the time they served in our jail. If he was on other charges in another institution, he doesn’t get credit for that,” said Lane.

Swain was in the Washington County Jail Feb. 27-28, 2012, Oct. 22 through Nov. 20 and Jan. 7-9, and Thursday.

However, Smith argued that Swain should get credit for all of the time he has served since his Oct. 23 arraignment.

“I believe he is entitled to that whole time. It’s plain language from the statute,” he said.

Smith, Schneider, Lane and Swain will reconvene today at 10:15 a.m. for a decision on the jail credit.