Crime

Drug-trafficking charges: Felon had gun with defaced serial number

Jerrell Markiem Cleveland
Jerrell Markiem Cleveland

GULFPORT -- A 24-year-old felon faces federal charges he had a handgun with an obliterated serial number while he was involved in drug trafficking in Gulfport.

Jerrell Markiem Cleveland, convicted in the 2008 burglary of a home in Harrison County, is accused in the trafficking of marijuana in Gulfport in 2014.

A judge in U.S. District Court unsealed a five-count indictment last week.

Cleveland was 17 when he and two other teens were charged as adults in hte 2008 home burglary, Sun Herald reports show. He was convicted.

While he was on probation, Gulfport police arrested him Jan. 20, 2014, on charges that resulted in more prison time and led to the federal charges.

The indictment alleges he was trafficking less than 50 kilos of marijuana the day of that arrest.

The document said he had a Cobra .38-caliber derringer -- a compact handgun -- and the manufacturer's serial number had been altered or obliterated.

The indictment was filed April 21, 2015. It was unsealed at Cleveland's arraignment Wednesday.

Cleveland waived the right to a detention hearing in a court appearance Friday.

He signed a statement that said he understands information provided to the pretrial services officer would lead the judge to find "there is no condition or combination of conditions which will assure my appearance in court and/or the safety of the community."

Cleveland is charged with felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm with an obliterated or altered serial number, using or carrying a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

The charges carry penalties of up to 30 years in prison.

He is set for trial on Judge Sul Ozerden's July 5 court calendar.

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