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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 22, 2022

Lorain Man Sentenced to Eleven and a Half Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking and Firearms Offenses

Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that Demarea L. Stafford, 40, of Lorain, Ohio, was sentenced on Thursday, April 21, 2022, by Judge John R. Adams to 138 months, or eleven and a half years, in prison.  Stafford previously pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, felon in possession of a firearm, distribution of crack cocaine and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, phenyl fentanyl, alprazolam, methamphetamine, oxymorphone, cocaine and heroin. 

“This sentence should send a message to felons in Lorain County and everywhere in the Northern District of Ohio,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler.  “If you possess a firearm or engage in drug trafficking or similar criminal activity, you will soon find yourself facing significant time in federal prison.”

“Criminal acts such as these endanger countless people with potential deadly consequences,” said Cleveland FBI Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith.  “The FBI is firmly committed to working with our police partners to disrupt drug trafficking networks and individual offenders that plague our communities. 

According to court documents, on October 15, 2020, Narcotics Detectives with the Lorain Police Department conducted a controlled purchase of crack cocaine from Stafford after receiving information concerning his involvement in suspected drug trafficking activity.  Later, on December 12, 2020, while the investigation was ongoing, Lorain Police officers responded to an apartment building for reports of a domestic argument with multiple shots fired.  

When police arrived, they encountered the suspected gunman, later identified as Stafford, who immediately fled from officers on foot.  During the pursuit, police heard a single gunshot and subsequently located and arrested Stafford.  After the arrest, police searched the area and located a firearm, a black bag and a digital scale.  Inside the bag, officers found considerable quantities of drugs.

Officers further investigated the incident and, through witness accounts and dashcam footage, were able to determine that Stafford had been in possession of the firearm and the black bag containing the narcotics.  Stafford is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to previous convictions of drug trafficking, improper discharge of a firearm, and felonious assault in the Lorain and Cuyahoga County Courts of Common Pleas. 

This case was investigated by the Lorain Police Department and the FBI.  This case is part of Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge (S.O.S.)., which seeks to reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids and to identify wholesale distribution networks and international and domestic suppliers in Lorain County.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Kolansky. 

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated April 25, 2022