Franklin man sentenced to 7 years for drug dealing

A Franklin man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to dealing heroin last year.

Michael D. Newton, 44, pleaded guilty in April to three counts of dealing narcotics, including two Level 4 felony counts and a Level 5 felony count. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for the first two counts, and five years on the last count. Both sentences are to be served concurrently, meaning he will serve seven years total.

As part of his sentence, he will immediately serve 392 days in prison, with a 294-day credit. The rest of the sentence will be suspended to active probation. To be eligible for probation, he must successfully complete drug court. He will also need to pay $385 in court fees, online court records show.

Newton was charged last July along with another man, Rickey D. Ford II, 41, following two separate investigations by both the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Franklin police in late 2020 and into mid-2021.

In one case, Ford was charged with four counts of dealing narcotics, including three Level 4 felony charges and a Level 5 felony charge. In another, Ford was charged with two additional counts of dealing narcotics, both Level 4 and Level 5 felonies.

Newton’s charges stem just from the sheriff’s office investigation, while Ford’s charges were from both the sheriff’s office investigation and a Franklin police investigation.

During the sheriff’s office’s investigation, deputies gathered evidence that Ford sold more than five grams of heroin on four separate occasions in the parking lots of the Franklin Walmart and Meijer, according to court documents filed in Johnson County Superior Court 3.

Newton participated in these drug deals, court documents show.

During the seperate Franklin police investigation, officers gathered evidence that Ford sold more than two grams of heroin on two separate occasions in late June and early July at a Franklin gas station and at his home in the 1000 block of Fairlane Court, according to court documents.

Ford’s charges from both investigations are pending. A change of plea hearing is scheduled for both of his cases on June 9, according to online court records.