Man who had almost 10K in cash when warrant served pleads guilty to federal drug charges

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Lesley Smith, charged with possession with intent to distribute controlled substances in Youngstown.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN)- A man who reports said had almost $10,000 cash in his West Side home when it was searched as part of a federal drug investigation pleaded guilty to drug and gun charges Thursday in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio.

Lesley Smith III, 40, of Youngstown, entered pleas of guilty before U.S. Judge Sara Lioi in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio to charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

His sentencing is set for Jan. 25.

Court records show Smith has been in federal detention since January, when a criminal complaint was filed against him and he waived both a preliminary hearing and a detention hearing. He was not indicted by a federal grand jury until Aug. 11.

The charges stem from a March 19, 2020, search warrant served at a home on West Glenaven Avenue on the South Side as part of a drug investigation that began in February 2020.

An affidavit in the case said investigators found marijuana, crack cocaine, powder cocaine, two digital scales, a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun, a box of .380-caliber ammunition and $9,928 cash.

The affidavit said Smith denied having any guns, drugs or large amounts of cash before the warrant was served.

Smith is not allowed to have or be around a firearm because of a 2005 conviction in federal court on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug crime.

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