CINCINNATI – A federal judge has convicted a Fairfield, Ohio, man of participating in a narcotics conspiracy that is punishable by at least 10 years and up to life in prison.
The verdict against Eric Jason Clark, 41, was announced yesterday afternoon following a bench trial on Jan. 29 before Senior U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett.
According to court documents and trial testimony, Clark and others conspired to possess with the intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine and 400 or more grams of fentanyl.
In May 2021, DEA agents began investigating Clark after receiving information that he was interested in purchasing 10 kilograms of cocaine from Los Angeles for $33,000 per kilogram.
During conversations related to drug sales in June and July 2021, Clark said he wanted to “stick to that white girl, the Christina Aguilera,” meaning cocaine, because law enforcement “want to fight that war on drugs with people passing away from [fentanyl].” But if the “price was right,” Clark said he’d buy fentanyl too, so long as it was “top notch.”
Clark carried multiple cell phones at a time and said he disposed of his phones and numbers as quickly as every two days. He said he always kept $300,000 cash in his car.
Subsequent investigation revealed that Clark was engaging in large-scale narcotics purchases in the Cincinnati area.
Clark was ultimately arrested in August 2021. At the time of his arrest, officers discovered five kilograms of cocaine and more than $200,000 of cash in his vehicle, as well as five more kilograms of cocaine and more than three kilograms of fentanyl at his luxury stash house apartment.
At the time, Clark was on supervised release following a prior federal drug conviction. In 2008, he was sentenced in a case in the Southern District of Ohio to 180 months in prison.
Clark will be sentenced by the Court at a future hearing. Congress sets the minimum and maximum statutory sentence and sentencing of the defendant will be determined based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Orville O. Greene, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Cincinnati Police Chief Teresa A. Theetge announced the verdict. Criminal Chief Christy L. Muncy and Assistant United States Attorney David P. Dornette are representing the United States in this case.
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