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Big Oak drug defendant gets 8 years in prison

LISBON — Jermaine Jackson, one of the Jackson family members who were accused of leading the gang indicted in Operation Big Oak, was sentenced to eight years in prison on Monday by Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Bickerton.

Jackson, 48, of Cleveland, had pleaded guilty to a number of the charges against him in April of 2018, then failed to appear for sentencing in July of that year. Jackson then filed a motion on his own to have his guilty plea withdrawn. Bickerton had denied the motion, which is something Jackson’s current defense attorney, Richard Hura, said Jackson has requested he file an appeal about right after Monday’s sentencing hearing.

Jackson had pleaded guilty to charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity between July 2014 and August 2017 by selling heroin, cocaine, fentanyl, carfentanil and marijuana in the county and possessing firearms despite prior felony convictions. Additionally, he pleaded guilty to corrupting another with drugs by providing Josh Gallimore with fentanyl, which caused Gallimore to overdose in July 2017.

Prior to sentencing, Jackson commented about his belief in God, then went on to talk about how he felt his rights were violated by the investigation and search, which he said was with a search warrant obtained by fraudulent means.

Bickerton said while she appreciates his religious beliefs, she has to ask if he has any remorse for the things he has done, being apart of those responsible for bringing deadly drugs into Columbiana County. Supplying a drug trade that led to people overdosing, including some of the 100 people charged in the Operation Big Oak indictment, who did not survive long enough to face their charges.

“I greatly regret anyone who was hurt, whether they died or were revived,” Jackson said. “I hope and pray God forgives me for anything I have done to affect or harm anyone.”

Bickerton also talked about how she was considering Jackson’s criminal record that goes back to 1990, reading off a long list of drug-related and theft crimes. She pointed out Jackson had even been indicted on a new charge for an alleged crime from this summer while he was incarcerated.

Prior to the sentencing hearing, Jackson was arraigned on the additional charge of complicity in the commission of an offense, a third-degree felony, from his alleged activities while an inmate in the county jail. The charge contends Jackson conspired with Micheala Sue Reardon to bring illegal drugs into the county jail on July 7, 2019.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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