Smithville man, Yoakem Sr., gets seven years in prison

WOOSTER -- A Smithville man who was found guilty of drug charges by a jury was sentenced to seven years in prison Monday.

David Lee Yoakem Sr., 40, last known address of 4525 Fox Lake Road, was sentenced in Wayne County Common Pleas Court by Judge Mark K. Wiest.

Wiest said Yoakem was likely to continue his criminal ways and the judge needed to "protect the public in the future."

Yoakem was found guilty of aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a first-degree felony (and the most serious count against him), along with possession of criminal tools and illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia. The jury deliberated for 21⁄2 hours.

Monday morning also was the day Yoakem was set to go to trial on another round of drug charges brought against him from an incident Jan. 15 at a store on Akron Road in Wooster; he pleaded guilty in that case to one count of illegal possession of chemicals for the manufacture of meth and possession of heroin.

Wiest sentenced Yoakem to three years on that case, but ran the prison term concurrent with his other sentence.

Yoakem also indicated Monday to the court he intends to appeal.

"I would just like to apologize to the county and the court," Yoakem told Wiest before receiving his sentence.

The charges stem from an incident Aug. 24 when Wayne County Sheriff's deputies arrested Yoakem and two women at the land on which his RV was parked along Fox Lake Road.

As relayed to Medway Drug Enforcement Agency through the use of a confidential informant, chemicals used to make meth and a finished product were found and disposed of, according to testimony by Donald Hall, senior Medway Enforcement Agency agent.

Assistant Prosecutor Jodie Schumacher said Yoakem has a "storied past" with several convictions against him dating back to 1992. She added he has demonstrated he has no intentions of giving up his criminal behavior, as Yoakem was out on bond when he was arrested in August, and again in January, when he was found with evidence of meth labs and drug activity around him.

Schumacher said Yoakem was granted bond after his arrest in August to attend to medical issues, but was seen on video at the Akron Road store "walking freely" in January. Yoakem wore a cast on his right leg throughout the trial.

Wiest said Yoakem's criminal past gives him an indication whether or not he will repeat his offenses.

"You're not a young man; you are not an old man either," Wiest said. "That tells the court there's really no remorse and you don't really intend to stop."

The judge added when Yoakem took the stand Friday and asserted "I never cooked methamphetamines in my life," Wiest believed he was lying and called it a "whopper of the first degree."

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