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Press Release

Cleveland Man Sentenced to More Than 20 Years in Prison for Illegal Possession of a Firearm and Drug Trafficking

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that Lawrence Dunbar, 28, of Cleveland, Ohio, was sentenced on Thursday, January 27, 2022, by U.S. District Judge Donald C. Nugent to more than 20 years in prison.  Judge Nugent pronounced the sentence after Dunbar was convicted at trial of possessing multiple controlled substances with intent to distribute and possessing a firearm and ammunition as a convicted felon.

“This sentence is reflective of what happens when a life is spent dedicated to drug trafficking and violence,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler.  “This sentence serves an example that felons who possess firearms and sell drugs in our communities will face consequences for their actions.”

“ATF’s mission is to protect the public from violent crime,” stated Roland H. Herndon, Jr., Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division.  “This sentence sends a strong message to those who use firearms to further their criminal enterprises that there will be consequences.  ATF will continue to work with our partners to hold responsible any individuals who spread violence and drugs in our community.”

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, on July 25, 2019, members of the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force (NOVFTF) sought to arrest Dunbar at his apartment on warrants for a felonious assault shooting and violation of parole conditions.  Upon arrival, law enforcement officers cleared the apartment, located and detained Dunbar and searched the apartment.  In the kitchen and bedroom, officers found large quantities of substances that contained varying amounts of carfentanil, heroin and cocaine.  Additionally, they located a loaded 9mm Glock semiautomatic pistol under the couch near the hallway and close to the narcotics in the kitchen.  Officers also found large amounts of drug paraphernalia, including mixing containers, cutting compounds, packaging and distribution materials, digital scales, multiple cell phones and personal protection equipment. 

At the time of his arrest, Dunbar was prohibited from possessing a firearm due to prior convictions in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, including multiple convictions for drug trafficking, drug possession, robbery and attempted felonious assault.

Judge Nugent sentenced Dunbar to a total of 245 months of incarceration and three years of supervised release.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) Police Department and the NOVFTF.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam J. Joines and Margaret A. Kane.

Updated January 28, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime