A Galloway, Ohio man recently received a significant prison sentence after a Fayette County jury found him guilty of tampering with evidence and possession of cocaine.
Neathen McClendon, 37, was found guilty of the third-degree and fifth-degree felonies on Sept. 14 in Fayette County Common Pleas Court and was found not guilty of trafficking in cocaine, a felony of the fourth degree.
Judge Steven Beathard sentenced McClendon to four years in prison plus 411 days of judicial enhancement because McClendon was on probation when he committed the latest offenses. He was sentenced to three years in prison on the tampering with evidence charge and one year on the possession of cocaine charge — to be served consecutively.
Judge Beathard found “that consecutive sentences are necessary and not disproportionate because a single term does not adequately reflect the seriousness of the conduct and the defendant’s criminal history shows that consecutive terms are needed to protect the public and punish the offender.”
Eighty-nine days were taken off of the sentence because that is the amount of time McClendon served in the local jail. He may be subject to a three-year period of supervision by the Adult Parole Authority.
McClendon was indicted in early June as part of a long-standing undercover operation to thwart the sale of opioids and narcotics in four Ohio counties. “Operation Red, White and Bust” was conducted by the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force, part of the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission. The operation focused on alleged traffickers in fentanyl, tramadol, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine, according to Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth.
McClendon’s offenses occurred when a warrant was served on March 22, according to Fayette County Prosecutor Jess Weade.
Reach Record-Herald Editor Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.