A 268th District Court jury sentenced Jermaine Nolan Bradley to 10 years in prison on May 6 after convicting him of possession of a controlled substance in a drug free zone.
The 31-year-old Richmond man was prosecuted for possessing crack cocaine found in his car after a traffic accident he had one year ago.
According to Assistant District Attorney Taniya Al-Amin, Bradley was driving through a Richmond neighborhood at a high rate of speed on May 1, 2015, near the Juan Seguin Early Development Center when he caused a collision with another driver coming from the opposite direction. Passengers in his car fled the scene, but bystanders prevented Bradley from escaping too. Bradley tried to bribe the driver of the other vehicle with a wad of cash to not call the police, but the Richmond Police Department arrived soon thereafter regardless.
While at the scene, the defendant admitted several times to Richmond Police Sgt. Holly Horton that he was the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle. Upon approaching the vehicle, Sgt. Horton smelled the odor of burnt marijuana and conducted a probable cause search of the vehicle. She discovered a small unusable portion of a marijuana cigar; a small baggie of powder cocaine; and two circular white chunks, commonly referred to as crack “cookies”. Police also found a large box of baking soda, a glass measuring cup with cocaine residue, and a black digital scale – which are items commonly used to manufacture crack cocaine.
During trial, two Richmond Police Department officers, a crime scene investigator, and a Department of Public Safety chemist testified for the state. The prosecution also introduced evidence of the defendant’s prior felony conviction and several misdemeanor theft and burglary of vehicle convictions – all of which Bradley admitted to.
“The jury spent a great deal of time listening to the evidence and we appreciate the seriousness with which they took their jury service,” said Al-Amin. “They rendered a fair and just verdict sending a powerful message to those in the illegal narcotics trade that they cannot expect their crimes to go unpunished, especially for the safety of our community and our children.”
Bradley was tried before Presiding Judge Brady G. Elliott. Possession of a controlled substance in this case is a second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. The crime also occurred within a drug free zone, which mandates that the first five years of the prison sentence must be served day-to-day and parole cannot be considered during that time. Al-Amin and Mark Hanna prosecuted the case. Attorneys Gemayel Haynes and Jennifer Gaut represented the defendant.