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EP man gets prison for burglaries

LISBON — An East Palestine man was sentenced to three years in prison for crimes committed while he was seeking a way to obtain more opioids.

Brian F. Buckley, 28, Wood Street, East Palestine, had previously pleaded guilty to burglary, having weapons while under a disability and receiving stolen property when he appeared for sentencing Monday before Judge Scott Washam.

According to Assistant County Prosecutor Steven Yacovone, Buckley broke into the home of Don Marichak, stealing firearms and cash in December of 2018. That led to the firearms charge as well. Then on March 28, 2020, Buckley and a co-defendant, Sarah Bowser, ordered a pizza in East Palestine and took the 2010 Nissan Rogue belonging to delivery driver, Michael Rosenberg.

Yacovone said neither victim in the case were vindictive or asked for Buckley to serve the maximum sentence, but in the case of Rosenberg, Buckley took away his ability to make a living. Additionally, Yacovone said Buckley has had multiple chances to get his life straight in the past with convictions for drug-related crimes going back to 2015. He requested the three-year sentence.

Defense attorney Rhys Cartwright-Jones argued that while Buckley has multiple convictions, he did not hurt anyone. He had broken into the home while no one was in town. Additionally, he was sorry for what he had done, never seeking to shirk responsibility for it. Buckley has been working through Progress House and another Flying High program as he works to fight addiction, Jones said. He pointed out like many opioid addicts, Buckley has a constant demon telling him to get high or he will suffer from nausea, vomiting and seizures.

“I don’t know if there is a stronger provocation than a disease that says ‘Lace up your boots and march or I’m going to make you critically ill,'” Jones said.

Buckley told Washam he has no doubt in his mind he has done some really terrible things and he does fight a demon everyday, one that does not discriminate. He does not come from a bad family.

“I’ve worked really hard to get where I’m at today,” Buckley said, “and to change my way to not be a bad person. I had no choice and that really sounds crazy to some people, but when it comes to a drug addict’s mind, there is no choice or go, survival instincts kick in. I didn’t care what I had to do. I would do anything to get drugs and by the grace of God he put these amazing people in my life to help me turn it around.”

Washam said he was happy to hear Buckley is working to address his addiction problems, but wishes he had done it sooner. He found the three-year prison sentence a fair one.

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