Traffic stop results in heroin bust

An ex-convict caught with heroin during a traffic stop in Columbus has been ordered to serve 9½ years behind bars.

John A. Boyd, 27, 2736 Tyler Drive, Columbus, was arrested last spring on preliminary charges of dealing in narcotics, marijuana possession and violating probation.

As part of a plea bargain, Boyd was allowed to plead guilty to possession of a narcotic drug as a Level 5 felony in late August. For that offense, he received a five-year sentence last week in Bartholomew Circuit Court.

But due to an earlier drug conviction, Judge Stephen Heimann nearly doubled the amount of time Boyd would spend behind bars.

Boyd sold more than 3 grams of cocaine to an undercover officer in October 2009, according to news accounts.

He also was charged with robbery because police believe he took $300 during that deal but did not provide drugs in return.

In March 2010, Boyd was sentenced to 15 years in prison with five years suspended for a conviction of dealing cocaine as a Class B felony. In return for his guilty plea, all other criminal charges were dropped in 2010.

Five years later, on April 27 of this year, Boyd was on probation when he was stopped for a minor traffic violation while driving on Second Street, just east of Franklin Street, Columbus Police Department spokesman Sgt. Matt Harris said.

A search was made after Officer Clayton Nolting determined that Boyd was wanted for parole violations, Harris said. The violations stem from Boyd’s use of a variety of narcotics, including heroin, after he was released from prison, court records state.

During the search, police found 8 grams of heroin in Boyd’s clothing, a small amount of marijuana in an ashtray, and more than $5,400 in currency during the traffic stop, Harris said.

Heimann determined that 4½ years of the five-year sentence that was suspended in 2010 should be added to the sentence, court records state.

Since Boyd was on probation at the time of his latest arrest, as well as his criminal history and lack of success in drug treatment programs, Heimann determined he could find nothing that would warrant a shorter sentence.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.