Ohio teen Tyler Pagenstecher was sentenced to between six months and three years in a juvenile prison after he was found to be a drug "czar" in his Cincinnati neighborhood.
Pagenstecher, who just turned 18, was immediately taken into custody and will be turned over to Ohio's Department of Youth Services. That agency will ultimately decide how long the teen drug czar has to stay in prison, reports CBS.
Pagenstecher was portrayed as a decent kid who just happened to have taken the wrong path by the court. While the teen lived a seemingly normal life outside of the drug dealing, the judge said that he could not allow Pagenstecher to walk without jail time due to the severity of the crime.
At his sentencing hearing, Pagenstecher apologized for his actions. The teen appeared soft spoken and his employer, an Italian restaurant, even vouched for him, reports CBS.
Pagenstecher was accused of selling drugs since he was 15 years old. Prosecutors said that the teen largely sold drugs out of his own house, and that the teen czar even oversaw several lieutenants. The teens dealt high-grade marijuana and allegedly made as much as $20,000 a month selling the pot to students.
While Pagenstecher turned 18 this month, the crimes occurred while he was still a minor and so he was charged as a juvenile. The judge could have transferred Pagenstecher's case to an adult court, but choose to keep the case in the juvenile arena.
Typically, a judge would seek transfer of a juvenile case where there is a violent crime involved like a murder or rape, or if the judge funds that the child likely cannot be rehabilitated and that the child poses a danger to the community.
In this case, the judge found that Tyler Pagenstecher had some potential to turn around his life. The "litte czar" could be released from prison before his nineteenth birthday.
- Tyler Pagenstecher, Teen Accused In Drug Ring, Faces Sentencing (Huffington Post)
- High School Kid, 17, Busted in $3M Pot Ring (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Teen Drug 'Czar' Pleads Guilty in $3M Pot Ring (FindLaw's Blotter)