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Thursday, April 5th, 2007

Man going to prison on drug trafficking charges

By Margie Wuebker
A St. Henry man has been sentenced to prison in connection with a drug trafficking case in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
Travis J. Lange, 23, 332 Kenneth St., received consecutive sentences in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction - 16 months for a third-degree charge involving cocaine and 10 months for an amended fifth-degree felony offense.
Judge Jeffrey Ingraham imposed no fine but ordered restitution totaling $1,740. Lange also must pay court costs and assigned legal fees.
In exchange for a guilty plea, the state amended one count of trafficking in marijuana in the vicinity of a school and dismissed another also dealing with the sale of marijuana.
Defense attorney Matt Chapel described Lange as a man who has turned his life around during dependency of the case. The defendant also apologized for his actions.
"The court today believes this is an appropriate sentence," Ingraham said adding its purpose is to punish the offender and protect the public.
He also alluded to the likelihood of a judicial release motion being filed at some point. While not promising approval, Ingraham said any decision would be dependent on the defendant's response to programs available in prison.
The charges stem from an undercover investigation by the Grand Lake Task Force with the offenses taking place in November 2005. A grand jury returned the three-count indictment in August of last year.
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