GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man charged with drug possession in one felony case while awaiting trial in another was recently sentenced in Gallia County Common Pleas Court.
Michael R. Voreh Sr., 52, of Gallipolis, was sentenced last week to a total of two years in the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction after pleading guilty to three counts of drug possession in two separate cases.
An indictment outlining four counts of drug possession, two counts of trafficking in drugs and one count of tampering with evidence was originally filed against Voreh in September 2013 after he was allegedly in the possession of three grams of heroin, two grams of crack cocaine and had allegedly prepared the drugs for sale on Sept. 2, 2013; and was in possession of one half-gram of heroin and one half-gram of crack cocaine on Sept. 7, 2013. Voreh also allegedly tampered with evidence by throwing a crack pipe in a toilet during an investigation on Sept. 7, 2013.
He was arraigned in relation to the 2013 case on Sept. 16, and later posted bond for his release from the Gallia County Jail.
While out on bond in this first case, charges were again filed against Voreh after law enforcement allegedly found him in the possession of four crack cocaine rocks and a crack pipe on Jan. 4, 2014.
According to the original complaint filed in this case with the Gallipolis Municipal Court, an officer with the Gallipolis Police Department stopped the defendant, who was driving a Ford F-150 on Jan. 4 in the city of Gallipolis, as the vehicle only had one working brake light.
After stopping the vehicle, the officer asked for permission to search the vehicle based on the defendant’s prior drug history. After the defendant failed to respond to the question, the officer called for assistance of a K-9 unit. The K-9 officer reportedly alerted to drugs in the vehicle and the defendant reported to officers that he had a crack pipe in his back pocket.
The defendant was then requested to exit the vehicle and the drugs were found inside Voreh’s coat pocket — drugs that later tested positive for cocaine.
A second indictment against the defendant was subsequently filed with the Gallia County Clerk of Courts on Feb. 7 in relation to this case.
The defendant appeared for an arraignment hearing on Feb. 28 and pleaded not guilty to possessing 1.6 grams of crack cocaine. He was later released on an own-recognizance bond.
After negotiating a plea agreement in both of his cases, Voreh pleaded guilty earlier this month to two counts of drug possession in relation to his first case and one count of drug possession in relation to his newest case during a hearing before presiding judge Leonard Holzapfel. Common Pleas Judge D. Dean Evans had previously recused himself in these cases.
During last week’s hearing, Voreh was sentenced to eight months of incarceration for possessing the 1.6 grams of crack cocaine, eight months of imprisonment for possessing three grams of heroin and eight months for the possession of one half-gram of heroin last year — sentences to be served consecutively for a total of 24 months.
The sentencing entry filed in Voreh’s latest case and signed by Judge Holzapfel reads, “The court finds that consecutive sentences are necessary to protect the public and punish the Defendant, are not disproportionate and that Defendant’s criminal history shows that consecutive terms are needed to protect the public and further that the crime [was] committed in this case while Defendant was awaiting trial and released on bond in [his 2013 case].”
In addition, during sentencing, Voreh was ordered to forfeit $409 to the police department as proceeds of drug trafficking that were seized during the traffic stop in January, in addition to the Ford F-150 that the defendant had been driving at the time of the incident.
He further had his operator’s license suspended for a six-month period.
Voreh was given credit for 10 days served in his first case and a total of 14 days served in his second case. He was further ordered to pay the costs of prosecution.