Longtime Cross Plains resident Mark A. Smith, 60, was sentenced Nov. 19 to 15 years in prison with eight years suspended by Special Judge James Humphrey of Dearborn Circuit Court, reported Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel.
Humphrey accepted a plea agreement submitted by the state and defense. The judge was appointed to this matter by Ripley Circuit Court.
"Smith had pled guilty to dealing in a Schedule I, II or III controlled substance, a Class B felony, specifically oxycodone," a narcotic opiate, according to the prosecutor.
This was an undercover drug investigation overseen and facilitated by the Indiana State Police. The undercover buy occurred in July 2012, with the investigation resulting in charges being filed in November 2012. Smith had posted bail shortly after being charged and remained in the community until his sentencing date.
Hertel reported, "Following the sentencing hearing, Smith was immediately remanded into custody. Following Smith’s period of incarceration, he will have a term of eight years to serve on supervised probation."
The prosecuting attorney represented the state at Smith’s guilty plea and sentencing hearing. He stated that sales of prescription medications, their improper use and abuse is a significant problem in Ripley County. He noted, "The efforts of the Indiana State Police in this investigation should be commended. Undercover work still seems to be one of the most effective tools law enforcement has to use against drug dealers."