Franklin man gets prison time in drug case

By MARISSA DECHANT – Staff writer

A Franklin man was sentenced Friday to serve up to five years in state prison on drug charges.

Cleo McKinney Jr., 21, was also re-sentenced Friday in two other cases over the past couple of years in which his parole or probation had been revoked.

Venango County Judge Robert Boyer ordered McKinney to serve 16 months to five years at Camp Hill state prison on two drug-related charges.

Those sentences will run concurrently, and he will receive credit for 513 days he has already served, according to online court documents.

McKinney pleaded guilty in November to felony counts of manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver and conspiracy-manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver.

The charges against McKinney were filed after he was found to have sold cocaine to a confidential informant on several occasions between May and June 2017.

Franklin city police executed three buys with the assistance of the Attorney General’s Drug Task Force, and each was set up via a cell phone used by a confidential informant.

In addition, McKinney was re-sentenced Friday to serve one to five years, also at Camp Hill, on a robbery charge stemming from a 2016 case. That sentence will begin when the drug sentences are finished.

McKinney had pleaded guilty to a felony count of robbery in connection with an attempted drug deal in Franklin. He and another man had stolen at least $500 from a third man who had been trying to purchase marijuana.

McKinney had been on parole for the robbery charge when it was revoked in November due to the latest drug charges.

His probation was also revoked at that time for an incident involving the injury of a child in February 2016.

McKinney had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor counts of simple assault and endangering the welfare of children stemming from an incident in which a 21-month-old girl had been admitted to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh with trauma to the back of the head and bruising.

McKinney was originally ordered last May to serve three to 24 months in the Venango County jail on the child endangerment charges. Upon re-sentencing Friday, he will now complete the balance of that sentence, according to online court documents.

McKinney was most recently charged Wednesday in an attempted drug smuggling incident at the Venango County jail. He had been in contact with a man via phone to set up a drug transaction through the mail, according to a criminal complaint.

He was charged with felony counts of possession of a controlled substance-contraband/inmate, conspiracy-criminal use of a communication facility and possession of a controlled substance.