WARREN COUNTY, Ohio - A Warren County judge has sentenced a Hamilton man to eight years behind bars for his role in the cultivation and trafficking of marijuana.
Justin Baker, 32, was found guilty Wednesday after a two-day bench trial was held in the Warren County Court of Common Pleas. Baker's entire eight-year sentence is considered mandatory time.
In July 2012, a Warren County grand jury returned an 11-count indictment against Baker, including three counts of trafficking in marijuana, two counts of cultivation of marijuana, two counts of possession of marijuana and two counts of possessing criminal tools used to harvest and cultivate marijuana. The grand jury also indicted Baker for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
Prosecutors claimed Baker was one of eight individuals at the center of a large drug trafficking organization. The organization produced high-grade marijuana worth over $2.9 million, according to court documents.
Authorities say Baker was one of the primary sources of the marijuana.
Baker's involvement with the organization became known after a 17-year-old Mason High School student at the heart of the investigation turned himself in to police. The teen, whose name has not been released because of his age, indicated Baker and six other men were involved with the ring into police, prosecutors said.
The Mason teen admitted his involvement in the drug ring and will serve a sentence of six months to three years at a juvenile detention facility.
The investigation led officers to seize 600 marijuana plants, several hundred grams of harvested marijuana and over $100,000 in cash.
Baker is married with two children. His mother is Janet Baker, who has been the superintendent of Hamilton City Schools for 20 years.
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