December 21, 2014

Elyria
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Attorney for former deputy clerk wants evidence thrown out

Sierra Dozier

Sierra Dozier

ELYRIA — An attorney for a former Lorain Municipal Court deputy clerk has asked a county judge to throw out evidence against her client seized during a raid of her home as part of a drug investigation.

Lawyer Vicki Ward wrote that when Lorain police raided the Columbo Lane home of Sierra Dozier on May 14, seeking evidence of drug trafficking by her now-husband, Julio Osorio, they went beyond what they were allowed to seize under the terms of a search warrant.

In addition to seizing six pounds of marijuana and cash, police also reported finding Lorain Municipal Court documents, including traffic citations, clerk’s office envelopes and traffic citations.

“The officers impermissibly acted beyond the scope of the May 13, 2013, search warrant in their seizure of Ms. Dozier’s personal documents,” Ward wrote.

Police then used the evidence they seized from Dozier to freeze her bank accounts, something they shouldn’t have been able to do because it was “fruit of the poisonous tree,” Ward wrote. Because the seizure was illegal, anything police did with the evidence afterward was invalid, she contended.

“The police had no authority to search or seize personal documents that belonged to Ms. Dozier in their investigation of Julio Osorio’s drug deals,” Ward wrote.

Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said he couldn’t comment because he hadn’t read the court filing, but he did note that Dozier has already pleaded guilty in federal court to charges that stemmed from evidence seized during the raid.

Dozier was sentenced to one year in federal prison earlier this month after pleading guilty in November to mail fraud. She has not yet reported to begin serving her sentence, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website. Court documents filed in the federal case indicate that she is supposed to be assigned to a prison that can accommodate her pregnancy.

In addition to prison, Dozier was ordered to repay the court system $31,000 she stole while working for Lorain Municipal Clerk of Courts Lori Maiorana, who fired Dozier after Dozier’s indictment last year.

Although Dozier has pleaded out in the federal case, she still faces state charges for stealing from the court system and on allegations she was involved in Osorio’s alleged drug dealing. Osorio also is awaiting trial on drug charges.

According to the FBI, Dozier stole money that people with business before the court brought in to pay fines, court costs and bonds. She would then alter court documents to cover up the missing money.

Dozier herself estimated in a letter filed in federal court that she was stealing between $200 and $300 per week to pay for meals out and recreational activities.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.