Cleveland man sentenced for selling drugs in Salem

LISBON – Richard T. Lowe, a Cleveland man convicted of selling drugs in the vicinity of Reilly Elementary School in Salem, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court Thursday afternoon.

Lowe, 29, who was more than 45 minutes late to his sentencing hearing, apologized both for his tardiness and for making the mistakes in his life leading to committing the trafficking crime. Court documents state Lowe sold 5.8 grams of crack cocaine to a confidential informant near both the school and the stadium on July 1, 2011.

“I messed up my life using drugs,” Lowe said. “I hope I can use this time to make myself better.”

His attorney, Edward S. Wade Jr. of Cleveland, admitted his client is “a troubled young man” after reading the presentencing investigation. He also talked about Lowe’s past family life, his mental health evaluation results and drug use issues.

However, Wade also pointed out Lowe’s fiancee and his young son were in the hallway outside the courtroom showing their support for him. He said his client wants to turn his life around, spend time with his ailing mother and just needs an opportunity. “I feel there is still hope even though his record is abysmal,” Wade said.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Weikart early in the hearing began listing Lowe’s mostly drug-related conviction history, which went back to 1998 when Lowe was still a teen.

Judge Scott Washam said that long list of past criminal activity contributed to his decision to agree with Weikart’s recommendation of an 18-month prison term.

Two additional charges of drug trafficking were dismissed. Both dealt with the sale of crack cocaine to a confidential informant in Salem – one on June 29, 2011 and the other on Sept. 15, 2011.