He was once a major Dayton cocaine trafficker. Now he’ll go back to prison for more drug crimes.


Dennis Hunter was a major cocaine trafficker in Dayton in the 1990s.

Now, he has been sentenced to prison again, this time for marijuana trafficking.

Hunter, 53, has tried twice to turn his life around, but he got involved into marijuana trafficking as he has transitioned to construction and real estate development, according to U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice.

So even though Rice said he believes Hunter is ready to leave behind his drug dealing, the judge said he could not justify sentencing Hunter to probation during his hearing on Wednesday.

RELATED: Couple guilty in money laundering, marijuana distribution case

No prison time would make a “mockery” of the case, Rice said when he sentenced Hunter to 30 months in prison for a case that began with an indictment of Hunter and his wife Sivan for marijuana trafficking and money trafficking.

“What kind of message would that send?” Rice said. “That’s not the system of justice we have in this country.”

Hunter’s wife was earlier sentenced to probation.

In 1999, Rice sentenced Hunter to a 71 months in prison for a case in which Hunter was indicted for cocaine trafficking and money laundering.

RELATED: Couple indicted for marijuana trafficking, money laundering

Aside from the 30-month prison term handed down Wednesday, Hunter also was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, pay $35,000 in lieu of a Dayton residence, forfeit about $3,000 in cash and three vehicles and perform 100 hours of community service in the first two of his three years of probation after his release.

Rice also ordered Hunter to disclose the property he owns and his sources of income.

The 2015 indictment alleged that Hunter conspired to distribute and possessed with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.

Hunter and his wife allegedly laundered the illegal drug proceeds by acquiring various real estate properties, including residences in and around Dayton, where he allegedly stored and sold marijuana. He also allegedly used drug proceeds to repair and improve the homes.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

Defense attorney Nicholas Gounaris wrote in a sentencing memorandum that Hunter operates “Hunter Property Solutions.” The business includes rental properties but also building and contracting services such as gutter repair/replacement, painting, roofing, concrete work, lawn care and snow removal.

Gounaris, who advocated for probation for his client, wrote that Hunter’s growing company has five full-time employees and carries even more during seasonal times.

“His last criminal behavior was almost eight years ago, and since that time, Mr. Hunter is proud to say that he’s built up a business that employs others and provides him with an opportunity to care for his family,” Gounaris wrote. “Every day he enjoys working hard and working at an honest law-abiding job.”

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

The case, which originated in 2015, was delayed in part because of a then-pending receiving stolen property case in Warren County that ultimately was dismissed. Hunter has been under pretrial supervision and had just one violation during that time.

Rice is allowing Hunter — who appeared to faint, causing sentencing to be delayed for a few minutes as court officials and U.S. Marshals tended to him — to voluntarily surrender after his company’s summer seasonal work is complete.

Hunter also earned 50 days of jail-time credit and will be recommended for training in HVAC if that is available at a federal facility close to Dayton.

DOWNLOAD OUR FREE MOBILE APP



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Showers, humidity expected early in the work week 
Showers, humidity expected early in the work week 

Muggy air returns Storms early in the work week Taste of fall THIS MORNING: Mostly clear and fairly comfortable to start. Clouds will start creeping in towards noon with lows in the mid-60s. TODAY: Cloud cover and humidity increases throughout the day. By the afternoon, we could see our first wave of showers and thunderstorms moving...
Florida alpaca dies after motorist feeds it Doritos, Cheese Nips, peanuts
Florida alpaca dies after motorist feeds it Doritos, Cheese Nips, peanuts

A Florida animal hospital announced the death of a beloved community alpaca Saturday on Facebook. Creekside Animal Hospital in Fleming Island wrote: "It is with a heavy heart that we want to inform our clients and friends at [Swimming Pen Creek Elementary] that our youngest alpaca that was born out on the shared field over a year ago...
WPAFB Monday Weather: Possible showers, storms to start the work-week
WPAFB Monday Weather: Possible showers, storms to start the work-week

WRIGHT PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE—A dry start is expected, but clouds will build through the day, according to Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar. Highs will be in the middle 80s. As we head into the afternoon hours, the chance for a few pop up showers or storms return to the forecast. In the evening, there’s a better chance for some...
Vacant house fire considered suspicious, rekindles in Huber Heights
Vacant house fire considered suspicious, rekindles in Huber Heights

UPDATE @ 2:15 a.m: A house fire that occurred on Rip Rap Road Sunday night and rekindled hours later into Monday morning is considered suspicious, officials confirm. Crews responded to the vacant structure located in the 6000 block around 8:30 p.m. and found a well-involved fire with visible smoke and flames.  The fire rekindled at approximately...
More Stories