Plea entered in $4 million pot case

Frankie Layz (left)
appears in court with an attorney. (J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)

One of seven people indicted in a pot bust that netted more than $4 million worth of the drug pleaded in
Wood County Court Friday.
Frankie Layz Jr., 22, Rochester, N.Y., appeared in the court of Judge Alan Mayberry. He entered an Alford
plea in the case to one count of trafficking in drugs, a third-degree felony. The Alford plea indicates
Layz did not admit fault, but acknowledged the prosecution had enough evidence to prove the charges
against him.
Layz and another codefendant were reportedly stopped by state troopers in July on the Ohio Turnpike in
Lake Township after a rented Subaru Outback they were driving was stopped for a traffic offense. They
later led troopers to a motor home they were accompanying on the way back from a reported drug deal in
Chicago. The motor home contained five additional individuals.
Troopers located more than 907 pounds of marijuana – reported, at the time of the incident, to be worth
$4.1 million – in the vehicles, as well as $14,000 in cash, and a number of cellular phones and related
devices.
All seven were indicted on charges including trafficking in marijuana, possession of marijuana, money
laundering, and possession of criminal tools.
Layz’s charge was amended to a single count of trafficking in drugs as the result of a plea agreement.
While Layz could receive as much as nine to 36 months in prison and a $10,000 fine for the offense,
prosecuting attorney Tom Matuszak recommended that community control sanctions be imposed at sentencing.

Layz is to be sentenced March 14 at 8:30 a.m.
One of the others indicted in the case, Justin Gould, 27, Rochester, N.Y., pleaded guilty earlier this
month to amended charges of one count of trafficking in drugs and one count of possessing criminal
tools. He is to be sentenced on March 21 at 10:30 a.m.
The cases of the other five defendants are pending.