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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Jury Convicts Columbia Man of Heroin Conspiracy

 

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., man was convicted by a federal trial jury today of his role in a conspiracy to distribute heroin.

Clifford Andrew Lake, 55, of Columbia, was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in Boone County, Mo., from Sept. 24 to Oct. 28, 2013.

Co-defendants Ravid Donald Smith, Jr., 50, and Lemont Michael Livingston, 27, both of Columbia, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the drug-trafficking conspiracy.

Evidence introduced during the trial indicated that Lake accompanied co-defendants Smith and Livingston during multiple trips to Chicago to obtain heroin, and that he assisted them in selling heroin to others.

In January 2013, Columbia police officers began receiving information that Livingston was obtaining heroin from St. Louis, Mo., and distributing it in the Columbia area. An investigation revealed that beginning in late summer 2013, Livingston began to bring drugs from Chicago, and was being assisted by Smith and Lake. Investigators used a cooperating source to make a controlled drug buy from Smith on Sept. 24, 2013. Livingston and Lake were present during the transaction.

On Oct. 28, 2013, investigation revealed that Livingston was en route back to Columbia from Chicago, and that he possessed a distribution quantity of heroin. Officers had obtained a search warrant for Livingston’s residence and decided to serve it on that date. At approximately 7:05 a.m. Livingston arrived at his residence, driving a blue BMW X5. Officers made contact with him, detained him, and advised him of the search warrant. The BMW was searched and inside a backpack located in the vehicle, officers recovered a plastic bag containing 196 grams of heroin.

Officers then entered Livingston’s residence and encountered Lake inside. During a search of the residence, additional items associated with drug trafficking were recovered, including digital scales, cutting materials for the heroin, and a handgun.

Livingston admitted he made multiple trips to Chicago to obtain heroin, and that he had just returned with a quantity of heroin. He stated that Smith had accompanied him, and had also returned with a shipment of heroin. Livingston told officers that he was responsible for collecting money for the sale of heroin.

A cooperating witness agreed to assist investigators in making contact with Smith, and acquired 32 grams of heroin from him. Smith was arrested later that day.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo., deliberated for about half an hour before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey, ending a trial that began Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.

Under federal statutes, Lake is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1 million. Smith and Livingston are each subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $5 million. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Lynn. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Columbia, Mo., Police Department.
Updated January 9, 2015