ELYRIA – A Buffalo, N.Y., man has been sentenced to 11 years in prison after a Lorain County jury determined he was a major drug offender.
Clifton Jackson, 44, was found guilty Wednesday of trafficking in drugs, possession of drugs and possession of criminal tools following a two-day jury trial.
Jackson was stopped at 8:40 a.m. on June 14, 2011, on the Ohio Turnpike by the Ohio Highway Patrol after Trooper Christopher Beyer saw him travelling too closely to a motor home, according to court records.
After Jackson produced a driver’s license and Beyer determined Jackson wasn’t the person who had rented the silver Toyota Camry he was driving, the trooper returned to his patrol car and called for a drug dog.
When another trooper and a drug dog arrived a few minutes later, the dog indicated there were drugs in the vehicle, according to court records. A search turned up a large orange duffel bag in the trunk of the car.
Troopers found 2,274 grams, or about 5 pounds of cocaine, in the bag.
Attorneys for Jackson had tried to have the evidence in the case suppressed, but now-retired county Common Pleas Judge Edward Zaleski determined that the stop and search of the car were legal.
The jury, however, concluded that the $1,262 found by troopers on Jackson wasn’t related to the drugs and declined a request by prosecutors to force Jackson to forfeit the money.
In addition to the prison sentence, which was mandatory because Jackson was found to be a major drug offender, county Common Pleas Judge John Miraldi imposed a mandatory $10,000 fine and suspended Jackson’s driver’s license for two years.