Thursday, August 31, 2000

Official's son pleads guilty in marijuana case

By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — The adult son of a Warren County commissioner pleaded guilty to a charge of preparing drugs for sale Wednesday in a plea agreement with prosecutors.

        But Steven Crisenbery's lawyer said he wanted to make it clear his client was not selling marijuana. Rather, he was using the drug himself.

        “He will admit he grew a sufficient amount and had it in his possession, even though he didn't intend to sell the marijuana,” attorney William Kaufman told Judge P. Daniel Fedders during a hearing in common pleas court.

        Later, outside the courtroom, Mr. Kaufman said that Mr. Crisenbery, the son of Commissioner Larry Crisenbery, started using marijuana two years ago to ease the pain from an injury.

        “He started using marijuana a couple of years ago when he broke his back,” Mr. Kaufman said. “His back's all better now, but he still likes marijuana.”

        Mr. Crisenbery faces up to 18 months in prison, a possible $5,000 fine and an automatic suspension of his driver's license from six months to five years when he is sentenced next month. Judge Fedders said a prison term is not mandatory.

        Mr. Crisenbery also has agreed to pay the county $8,000 in exchange for the return of a pickup truck that was seized in a July drug raid at his home.

        A felony charge of cultivation of marijuana will be dismissed.

        Mr. Crisenbery, a self-employed general contractor, and his estranged wife, Tommie “Lynn,” were arrested July 13 after members of the Warren County Drug Task Force raided their home and said they found two large marijuana plants in the back yard.


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