CLEVELAND — 32-year-old Kindell Smith, of Cleveland, was sentenced in a Cleveland courtroom Wednesday to 12 years (146 months) in prison.
Smith, a member of the "8Ave" street gang, was convicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, crack cocaine and illegal possession of a firearm.
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According to evidence presented at Smith's trial, law enforcement officers with the Southeast Area Law Enforcement began an investigation into Smith's activities of suspected drug trafficking.
During the investigation, authorities encountered Smith distributing fentanyl and cocaine in Cleveland near the 3200 block of Central Avenue on April 14, 2020.
A second encounter with Smith then took place on May 19, 2020. Smith was with codefendants Darrell Douglas and Dreshawn Maddox, both of whom have been convicted and sentenced on a prior date. The three were distributing fentanyl from a vehicle.
Officers approached the vehicle and ordered the occupants to show their hands. The vehicle attempted to speed away striking the officers vehicle on the drivers side in the process.
While removing Smith, Douglas and Maddox from the car, officers saw Smith attempt to hide a firearm beneath the driver's side seat.
After a search of the vehicle, officers found the firearm belonging to Smith along with "various amounts" of fentanyl and crack cocaine.
Smith was prohibited from owning a firearm due to a previous drug trafficking and felonious assault conviction.
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