A Belpre man sentenced for drug trafficking | News, Sports, Jobs

A Belpre man was sentenced by video to 29 years in prison on Wednesday morning after a jury trial in March.

Tytus Shields, 31, 1572 Elizabeth St. Apt. A, Belpre, was convicted in the Washington County Court of Common Pleas on seven counts, including two counts of trafficking a fentanyl-related complex, both first-degree felonies; one count of possession of a controlled substance, a first-degree felony; one count of receiving the proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture proceedings, a fifth degree felony; and three counts of having weapons while disabled, all third-degree felonies.

He was also listed as a major drug offender.

During a June 2020 drug seizure at his residence and a nearby apartment, approximately 200 grams of suspected fentanyl were found in a safe inside Apartment C and the Washington County prosecutor, Nicole Coil said at trial that Shields had the key to that safe and the apartment itself.

Eighty-four grams of alleged fentanyl were found in the glove compartment of a BMW in the parking lot of the apartment and Coil said at trial that Shields claimed all of the items found were his, including three firearms and over $18,000 in cash.

It was noted at sentencing that Shields was under post-release control at the time of the offense.

Coil asked for a 31-year sentence because she believes Shields believes drug trafficking isn’t a crime, it’s a way of life.

He was proud of it and was open about it with the police, she said.

He has no remorse because he felt innocent because his medication was with someone else.

During his pre-sentence hearing, he scored lower on his Ohio risk assessment system than he should have, she said. Later, Common Pleas Judge Mark Kerenyi agreed, as he should have scored higher because he lived in a neighborhood where drugs were readily available and he has friends who use drugs.

He scored a 22, but should have scored a 24, Coil said, which made him at high risk for a repeat offense.

Assistant District Attorney David Silwani said there were factors that made him more at risk, including Shield’s long history of convictions and lack of remorse.

Defense attorney William Summers said his client had shown remorse for his situation. He requested that counts 1 and 2 be executed simultaneously because they were the same drug, just found in different places.

In his own defense, Shields said that no one was perfect, including himself, and that he felt like he was being treated unfairly because other people convicted of the same drug case were sentenced to a lesser prison sentence.

The vast majority of his 29 years were mandatory, such as 11 years for counts one and three, to run concurrently, 12 months for committing the offense while in the PRC and eight years for being classified as an offender drug major.

He had a previous drug felony conviction, placing him on disability, preventing him from owning or possessing a firearm. One of the firearms found was stolen from Wood County. His weapons, BMW, Ford Mustang and more than $16,000, were all confiscated.

In addition to the 29 years in prison, Kerenyi handed Shields a mandatory $10,000 fine and his driver’s license will be suspended for five years after his release from prison. He will also be in post-release control for five years.

Kerenyi said his offenses were part of organized crime activity and his adult offenses dated back to 2007.

“You have already served a long sentence for trafficking”, he said. Shields served another long sentence for trafficking, which was to “engage in a pattern of activity.”

He said Shields had not been rehabilitated and showed no remorse. His ORAS score was artificially low and while on bail in that case he committed a federal weapons offense.

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