Major drug offender draws lengthy prison sentence

J Swygart, The Lima News, Ohio
·2 min read

Apr. 29—LIMA — A Lima man convicted by an Allen County jury earlier this year on six drug- and weapons-related charges was sentenced Thursday to more than 15 years in prison.

Jaishaun M. Ball, 33, was found guilty at his trial in March of three counts of trafficking in cocaine, fourth-degree felonies; one count of possession of cocaine, a felony of the fifth degree; and one count of having a weapon under disability, a third-degree felony.

The most serious charge against Ball was a possession of cocaine count which was elevated to a first-degree felony because the bulk weight of the drugs in question exceeded 100 grams. That allowed prosecutors to charge the Lima man as a major drug offender, which carries a mandatory prison sentence of 11 years.

The count also contained specifications for the forfeiture of a Sig Sauer P250 .40 caliber firearm along with the forfeiture of money deemed to be proceeds of the drug sales.

The fourth-degree felony trafficking counts also allege the sale of drugs took place in the vicinity of a school.

Judge Terri Kohlrieser sentenced Ball to a minimum term of 15 1/2 years behind bars on all six counts.

On April 1, 2019, the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force and the Allen County Sheriff's Office SWAT team executed a search warrant at 953 Rice Ave., Lima, which was the known address of Jaishaun Ball. Approximately 114 grams of suspected cocaine was located at the residence, according to court documents.

Jurors deliberated only for about two hours before returning guilty verdicts.

Defense Attorney Steve Chamberlain maintained during trial that the state failed to prove Ball actually resided at 953 Rice Avenue. He also attempted to discredit the state's main witness in the case — a confidential informant who said she purchased cocaine from Ball on three separate occasions in March of 2019 in exchange for the dismissal of drug charges against her.

"There's a lot that wasn't checked in this case that should have been," Chamberlain told jurors. "If you're going to charge a member of this community with felony crimes, you'd better dot your i's and cross your t's."

Ball said during his sentencing hearing Thursday that he intends to appeal his conviction in the case.