Columbus man headed to prison for drug trafficking

Photo by Janelle Patterson Anthony Mack, right, appears in Judge Mark Kerenyi’s court Wednesday in Marietta for sentencing with his lawyer Rolf Baumgartel.

MARIETTA — The Columbus man convicted in a bench trial in September of trafficking heroin, possession and having weapons under disability was sentenced to three and a half years in prison Wednesday.

Anthony Dwayne Mack, 36, of Columbus, chose at the time of his trial to have his defense presented only before the judge rather than a jury, citing a concern of racism likely to affect the outcome.

Washington County Common Pleas Judge Mark Kerenyi found Mack guilty of having a weapon while under disability (prior felony conviction), a third-degree felony; possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony, and trafficking in drugs, a fifth-degree felony. Mack also pleaded guilty in September to two fourth-degree felony counts of failure to appear.

During sentencing on Wednesday he stated his case should have resulted in a mistrial.

“I had an unfair trial and was not treated equally,” Mack said in court.

Mack said because video footage of surveillance of the place where he was staying in Washington County, selling drugs, was not entered into the prosecution’s evidence, he should not have been convicted of the crimes.

Mack’s attorney Rolf Baumgartel didn’t stipulate the video not being entered for the trial, but did have that same video entered into the record Wednesday saying if Mack were to appeal his sentence he would like to use it.

In terms of sentencing Wednesday the prosecution recommended that due to Mack’s lack of local ties, he should be made an example.

“He’s an out-of-county resident that came here specifically to sell drugs,” said Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Joe Derkin. “The prosecution would recommend that he get the maximum sentence to make an example to others outside this county that this behavior is not something to be tolerated here.”

The maximum sentence Mack could have received was four years in prison. Kerenyi chose to have the first three felony sentences run concurrently and the two failures to appear to also run concurrently but consecutively to the first sentence of 30 months. He added another year to the sentence, but stayed six months below the maximum.

Kerenyi also gave Mack 206 days of jail time credit for time served prior to sentencing.