By Joe Gorman
Four people who reportedly had drugs found on them when they were booked into the Mahoning County jail in separate incidents over the weekend were arraigned Monday in municipal court.
A fifth person was also arraigned in a similar incident that happened last week.
Michael Williams, 31, of Akron, is the jail on more than $57,000 bond set by Magistrate Anthony Sertick on charges of illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of drugs, possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, possession of crack cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Williams was a passenger in a car driven by Lori Marshall, 28, of Hermitage, Pa., that was pulled over at East Avondale Avenue and Erie Street about 10:40 p.m. Sunday by officer Stephen Gaetano because it did not have a license-plate light.
A check on Marshall revealed she was wanted on warrants for citations given for misdemeanor drug charges Thursday for which she failed to appear in court. She was taken into custody, and Williams was asked to step out of the car because it was to be towed. Also inside the car was an 8-month-old girl that was Marshall’s daughter, reports said.
Williams appeared nervous and told officers he possessed nothing illegal, but when he was searched, Gaetano found a loaded .45-caliber handgun, reports said. In a pocket was a bottle that had 195 pills inside, reports said.
When he was booked into the jail, corrections officers found doses of suspected heroin, suspected crack cocaine and suspected marijuana in his underwear, reports said.
Marshall also was arraigned on the warrants and a count of child endangering. She said in the police report and repeated to Sertick that she was driving the child to the home of the child’s father when she was pulled over, and she did not know what Williams had in the car.
Sertick said the endangering charge is disturbing if true.
“If any of these charges are true, you should be ashamed of yourself for exposing a less than 1-year-old child to this environment,” Sertick said.
In the arrest Thursday, Marshall told police after she was caught with drug paraphernalia in a 2525 Market St. parking lot that she is addicted to heroin and cocaine and she had slept in her car the night before on a side street fretting over the fact she had no money for drugs.
About 1:10 a.m. Saturday, Jerrell Shorter, 19, was arrested after a car he was a passenger in was pulled over by a trooper from the Ohio State Highway Patrol at Fifth Avenue and Armed Forces Boulevard after it slid through an intersection. Reports said the trooper smelled marijuana in the car and found suspected marijuana. A dose of suspected heroin was also found inside the car, and Shorter had an empty bag of suspected heroin in his shoe, reports said. Reports said Shorter admitted the heroin in the car was his and he had a heroin problem.
At the jail, corrections officers found a suspected marijuana cigar in his underwear, reports said.
Sertick set bond of $20,000 for Shorter on charges of illegal conveyance, possession of heroin and possession of marijuana.
Michael Ruffin, 54, was arraigned on charges of illegal conveyance, possession of drugs and OVI after he was arrested by state troopers about 10:20 p.m. Friday at Belmont and Fairgreen avenues after he failed to stop for a stop sign. Reports said he appeared drunk and had five pills in a coat pocket. Reports said he told troopers he had no other contraband on him, but when he was booked into the jail deputies found seven oxycodone pills in a small pocket of his jeans. His bond was set at $17,500.
Bryan Gipson, 31, of Miami Avenue, is in the jail on $20,000 bond after being booked at 10:45 p.m. Friday on charges of trafficking in drugs, possession of crack cocaine, illegal conveyance and driving under suspension. Gipson was pulled over on McGuffey Road after he traveled left of center for at least two blocks, reports said, and officers found two pills on him when he was arrested.
When he was taken to the jail, corrections officers found 19 bags of suspected crack cocaine in a second pair of pants he was wearing, reports said.
Arraigned after an arrest Wednesday was Lesa Paris, 37, of South Hazelwood Avenue. She was taken into custody in municipal court, and when searched in a holding cell in the city jail, officers found more than $1,400 in cash on her. When she was booked into the county jail, she had suspected heroin and suspected crack cocaine in a body orifice, reports said.
Sertick set her bond at $20,000 denying her request for a court appointed lawyer because she could not explain how she had so much cash on her. Paris told the magistrate she was holding it for a friend, but Sertick said that excuse was not good enough.
“Maybe that friend will be able to hire an attorney for you,” Sertick said.
Police Chief Robin Lees said people often hide contraband from officers with the goal of concealing it just for the traffic stop.
At the jail, Warden Alki Santamas said there is more time and space for a more-thorough search at the jail.
“They’re [police] doing a pat-down. We’re doing a search,” Santamas said. “We’re in a more-confined area.”