Reno man pleads guilty to drug trafficking
MARIETTA – A Reno man who dealt heroin in the Walmart parking lot last year pleaded guilty in Washington County Common Pleas Court Tuesday.
Edward “Pooh” Murphy Jr., 38, of 204 Brandy Drive, appeared before Judge Mark Kerenyi to change his plea in exchange for the state’s dismissal of the other eight counts against him.
He asked the judge to accept his plea, but made no other statement during the hearing.
Kerenyi accepted Murphy’s plea to a fourth-degree felony trafficking in drugs charge and set Murphy’s sentencing date for July 5 at 10 a.m.
Murphy faces up to 18 months in prison for the conviction and three years of post-release control.
Washington County Assistant Prosecutor Joe Derkin explained that Murphy was indicted for seven felonies and two misdemeanors after his arrest in April 2018, but has since focused on productive work and rehabilitation prior to the completion of his case.
“He’s gone to rehab, he has a job and is working well,” said Derkin before the hearing.
So in exchange for a guilty plea on count two of the indictment, a fourth-degree felony of trafficking in drugs, the remaining charges were dropped:
∫ Count one: Trafficking in drugs, fentanyl, a fourth-degree felony.
∫ Count three: Trafficking in drugs, heroin, within the vicinity of a juvenile, a third-degree felony.
∫ Count four: Aggravated trafficking in drugs; within the vicinity of a juvenile, a third-degree felony.
∫ Count five: Possession of controlled substances, heroin, a fourth-degree felony.
∫ Count six: Aggravated possession of controlled substances, methamphetamine, a fourth-degree felony.
∫ Count seven: Tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.
∫ Count eight: Endangering children, a first-degree misdemeanor.
∫ Count nine: Possessing criminal tools, a first-degree misdemeanor.
Murphy was initially arrested at his home on April 16 after a controlled buy at Walmart on April 11.
According to the indictment, at the time of his arrest there was a juvenile present when the drug task force located two bags of heroin with a combined weight of 11.64 grams, several sets of digital scales, numerous packages of small packets, several glass vials, empty pill capsules, a loaded syringe of suspected heroin, two drug ledgers and $12,105 in cash.
Derkin and Murphy’s attorney George Cosenza agreed Tuesday in court that all cash seized in the arrest will be forfeited as will the Beretta PX4 9-millimeter pistol with two loaded magazines and a black nylon holster.
The tampering with evidence charge stemmed from an additional bag of heroin found in the garage ceiling where Murphy told agents he had thrown the bag after hearing them at his home.