WCH man gets lengthy prison sentence for trafficking

By Ryan Carter - rcarter@recordherald.com



A Washington C.H. man who recently plead guilty to eight counts of aggravated drug trafficking has been sentenced to a minimum sentence of 12 years, three months and a maximum of 13 years in prison.

James A. Babineau, 38, changed his pleas to guilty June 18 in Fayette County Common Pleas Court to five second-degree felonies and three third-degree felonies.

Babineau admitted to selling and/or attempting to sell methamphetamine on Oct. 1, Oct. 3, Oct. 11, twice on Oct. 16, Sept. 3, Sept. 17 and Sept. 30. He was indicted by a grand jury following an undercover investigation by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO).

Babineau also agreed to forfeit $1,586 in cash from a drug sale. The court ordered the sheriff to transfer the currency subject to forfeiture in the amount of $1,586 to the Clerk of Courts to be applied against court costs and fines in this action. Any costs of fines remaining after applying the funds were to be suspended.

On June 23, Judge Steven Beathard ruled that post-release control for three years is mandatory following Babineau’s release from prison.

As previously reported in the Record-Herald in October 2019, Babineau was involved in a traffic stop made by an FCSO deputy the night of Oct. 16 that resulted in the recovery of a significant amount of methamphetamine and the arrest of two local individuals.

Deputy Jason Havens, who was following a vehicle heading southbound in the 4000 block of US 62 NW, checked on the vehicle’s registration and found that the registered owner, Anndrea M. McCullough, was suspended and had an outstanding warrant for her arrest out of Washington C.H. Municipal Court for failure to appear.

Havens made a traffic stop on the vehicle and identified the driver as McCullough, 28, and the passenger in the vehicle as Babineau. According to Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, McCullough admitted to Havens to possessing a small amount of marijuana inside the vehicle.

FCSO K-9 deputy “Odra” was utilized to conduct a “free air sniff” of the vehicle. “Odra” made a positive indication for narcotics three separate times, according to Stanforth.

After Babineau was removed from the vehicle, he allegedly revealed that there were about four ounces of meth inside the vehicle. According to Stanforth, Babineau surrendered a large baggie of marijuana that weighed about 28 grams and a large bag containing a crystal substance that later field tested positive for methamphetamines.

The methamphetamines were later found to have weighed more than 100 grams. “Upon searching the vehicle, deputies located additional items consistent with drug trafficking,” Stanforth said.

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.


By Ryan Carter