UNION COUNTY — A Jonesville man could serve up to 30 years in prison and have to pay a $2 million fine after pleading guilty to a drug charge in federal court.
In a statement released Friday, United States Attorney Beth Drake announced that Cornelius C. Crawford., 31, had plead guilty in federal court in Anderson to possession with the intent to distribute cocaine, a violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 841. The press release states that United States District Judge Timothy M. Cain, of Anderson, accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the pre-sentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
The press release stated that evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that on October 13, 2016, Officer Montjoy with the Jonesville Police Department observed a car failing to maintain lane and a passenger in the car with no seat belt. Based on these violations, the press release stated the officer initiated a traffic stop. The press release states that when the car stopped, Crawford (who was the passenger) jumped out carrying a green and orange bag and made a run for it. Officer Montjoy chased him. After a chase, the press release states Crawford pulled out a .22 caliber Ruger, turned, and pointed it at the officer. It states that Montjoy ordered Crawford over and over to drop the gun and get on the ground. On the tenth or so command, it states Crawford finally got to the ground, and tried to bury the gun and a bag of cocaine next to him. Once backup arrived, officers placed Crawford under arrest. In the orange bag, the press release states the officer located a set of digital scales, five baggies of cocaine, and .22 caliber bullets.
Drake stated the maximum penalty can receive is a fine of $2,000,000 and/or imprisonment for 30 years, six years of supervised release, plus a special assessment of $100.
The case was investigated by agents of the Jonesville Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Bill Watkins of the Greenville office handled the case.
Crawford, who was a resident of 271 #D-3 Meansville Road, Jonesville at the time of his arrest, was originally indicted in connection with the incident when a federal grand jury issued the following three-count indictment against him:
• Count 1 — Having been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, knowingly did possess in and affecting commerce, a firearm and ammunition, that is a Ruger .22 caliber pistol and ammunition, all of which had been shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce. This happening on or about June 9, 2016.
• Count 2 — Knowingly, intentionally and unlawfully did possess with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine, a Schedule II controlled substance.
• Count 3 — Did knowingly use and carry a firearm during and in relation to, and did possess a firearm in furtherance of, a drug trafficking crime, that is, possession with intent to distribute as alleged in Count (2) of the indictment, which is prosecutable in a court of the United States, during which the firearm was brandished.
Crawford’s indictment on federal charges was announced in late June by Union County Sheriff David Taylor who said that his arrest and indictment should send a message to drug dealers that if they sell drugs and carry guns they can expect to spend decades in federal prison.