Drug charge nets city woman prison

WARREN — A Youngstown woman, found with almost 20 grams of a fentanyl-related compound during a Liberty Township arrest, on Monday pleaded guilty to a second-degree felony and faces a mandatory prison term of between two and 12 years.

The case involved a call for a possible overdose at a car wash.

Ciera Buckner, 35, of Ferndale Avenue, was in tears as she answered questions from Trumbull County Common Pleas Judge Cynthia Rice during a plea hearing. Buckner pleaded guilty to possession of a fentanyl-related compound. She will be sentenced after a background investigation by probation officers.

The plea arrangement with prosecutors canceled Buckner’s scheduled jury trial on April 3 in Rice’s courtroom.

The defendant remains free after posting a $5,000 bond, court records show.

The case involved a call to Liberty police on Aug. 24, 2021, to a car wash to investigate a possible overdose victim.

According to the report, police officers saw an occupant of the vehicle throw something out the window, which turned out to be a straw, prosecutors said. A search of the vehicle found the suspected drugs near one of the vehicle’s head rests, prosecutors said, along with several pills that were found in a plastic bag.

In other drug-related cases:

• Brandon Goodwin, 24, of South State Street, Girard, pleaded guilty to charges of attempted aggravated possession of drugs and improper handling firearms in a motor vehicle, both misdemeanors. Rice sentenced Goodwin to six months in the county jail with credit for time served. The defendant was the subject of a traffic stop by Girard police on March 30, 2021, prosecutors said, where methamphetamine and a loaded gun were found;

• Deshawn Harvey, 50, of Northwest Boulevard NW, pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of cocaine and will be sentenced by Rice after a background investigation. Harvey was arrested Dec. 1, 2021, in Weathersfield after he was a passenger of a vehicle that was traffic-stopped. About 5 grams of cocaine and $606 in cash were confiscated. Harvey agreed to forfeit the cash as part of the plea deal.

He faces a possible maximum 18-month prison sentence. Monday’s plea offset a jury trial that was scheduled to start April 10;

• Jonathan Walker, 33, of Newton Drive, Newton Falls, pleaded guilty to a charge of aggravated possession of drugs and will be sentenced after undergoing a background investigation. Prosecutors said Walker was arrested in June 2021 after a traffic stop in Newton Falls netted methamphetamine.


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