July 1, 2016

Partly cloudy

Former drug dealer facing prison vows to save kids from addiction

MEDINA — A 45-year-old former drug dealer told a judge Monday he wants to do his part to curb heroin and cocaine use in Medina County.

Clarence E. Powell Jr., of 1400 Crestview St., Brunswick, was asking for leniency after pleading guilty last month to failing to obey a police officer, a third-degree felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

Clarence Powell

Clarence Powell

“Give me a chance to prove I can help, judge,” Powell said. “If I mess up, give me the max sentence.”

County Common Pleas Judge Christopher J. Collier agreed to a lesser sentence — six months in the county jail and five years of probation.

But he warned Power that “if you violate any time in the next five years this court will send you to prison for the maximum three years.”

Powell said his family has been synonymous with drug dealing for a very long time in Medina County, but said he’s decided to turn his life around.

“I apologize for what I did to this community,” the man told the judge. “I went to prison a whole bunch of times and I did my time, but no one is doing this sort of speaking in Medina County.”

Powell has been to prison eight times since 1993 for trafficking in crack cocaine. He most recently was released from prison in 2012.

In his most recent case, prosecutors said Powell drove away from Medina County Drug Task Force agents in April when they tried to stop his vehicle. Agents also reported they believed Powell disposed of evidence out the window of his vehicle during the chase that ensued.

Powell said all of that is behind him now.

“I never meant for any of this to happen. I was a young kid, and I got caught up in the drug world,” Powell said. “I want to save some kids’ lives, and I want to save some grown-ups’ lives.”

County Prosecutor Scott Salisbury recommended the judge give Powell the maximum three years in prison for fleeing from police.

“He ran from the police, and only he knows why,” Salisbury said. “We have our theories, but it’s only a theory.”

The judge’s decision to give Powell probation and jail time was a compromise, and he warned Powell that there would be severe punishments for violating his trust.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.