Man sentenced in East Side drug case

Staff report


One of 10 men charged with selling drugs in the Lincoln Knolls area of the East Side was sentenced Tuesday to nine years in prison.

The sentence handed down by Judge Maureen Sweeney to Jeffrey Howell, 35, in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, will run concurrent with a federal sentence he received for charges he received in the same case.

Howell pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking in heroin; five counts of trafficking in cocaine; and a count of attempt to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity. His sentence was handed down immediately after his guilty plea.

Howell and the nine others charged with him were indicted in June 2015 for selling large amounts of heroin, cocaine and marijuana on the East Side, capping an 18-month investigation.

Assistant Prosecutor Martin Desmond said Howell also was charged federally because of the large amount of drugs he had on him when he was arrested.

Desmond said the members of the ring would operate out of several houses in the Lincoln Knolls area, where they would sell their drugs.

The investigation was built by information gleaned from search warrants and undercover drug buys. When the arrest warrants were served, police found $15,000 in cash and two handguns, along with cocaine and heroin.

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