Dealer pleads guilty to charges stemming from his sales of methamphetamine, fentanyl


By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

A 32 year-old Zanesville man is facing over a decade in prison for selling drugs, but it’s not the first time he’s faced prison time for trafficking.

In 2007, at the age of 20 years-old, Justin Hill, also known as “YG,” was sentenced to 12 months in prison for trafficking in drugs (crack cocaine) in the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas, according to court records.

Wednesday afternoon, Hill reappeared in common pleas court to plead guilty to more severe trafficking charges than the ones he faced 12 years ago.

Hill pleaded guilty to one first-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs (methamphetamine) with a juvenile specification, one first-degree felony count of illegal manufacture of drugs (fentanyl) with a juvenile specification, one second-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs (fentanyl) with a juvenile specification and one third-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs (fentanyl).

The State, as well as Hill’s defense attorney, submitted a joint recommendation that Hill serve 12 years in prison.

Hill was the target of a Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force (CODE) investigation. CODE used a confidential informant (CI) to conduct controlled buys of methamphetamine and fentanyl from Hill.

On Aug. 14, CODE used the CI to purchase 28 grams of methamphetamine and seven grams of fentanyl from Hill at his apartment on Indiana Street.

Another controlled buy took place on Aug. 20 when the CI picked Hill up from Muskingum Valley Health Center and took him to Dollar General where Hill went into an apartment on Pierce Street. 

The two then went to Hill’s Indiana Street apartment where he cut the drugs to provide the CI with 7.1 grams of fentanyl.

Welch stated that the juvenile specifications attached to Hill’s charges stem from where the transactions took place which were in the vicinity of a juvenile or a school.

Toward the end of his plea hearing, Hill’s attorney, Amy Otto, said he wished to waive his pre-sentence investigation and be sentenced Wednesday. Judge Kelly Cottrill declined his request.

Hill’s bond was continued at $500,000 pending his sentencing.