POMEROY — A Columbus man who previously pleaded no contest to felony drug charges has been released after the charges were dismissed.
Inielsis G. Isaac, 42, of Columbus pleaded no contest to first-degree felony charges of possession of drugs and trafficking in drugs in November 2017 in Meigs County Common Pleas Court. He was labeled as a major drug offender.
Isaac’s plea came after his motion to suppress evidence was denied by the court. Isaac had argued that the traffic stop in the case was not valid and that he did not give consent to search the vehicle.
Isaac was stopped by Ravenswood Officer Andrew Boggess after crossing the bridge into Ohio. Upon searching the vehicle, 4.45 pounds of heroin were allegedly located with a street value of $480,000 to $800,000.
In the initial case, Isaac’s attorney Terry Sherman had argued through a motion to suppress that the search of Isaac’s vehicle which located the alleged drugs was invalid for a number of reasons. The stop was initiated for failure to properly display a license plate and going left of center.
First, the officer from the Ravenswood Police Department initiated the traffic stop outside of his jurisdiction along Route 33 in Ohio just across the bridge. The stop was also a “prolonged” stop according to documents provided by Sherman. Consent for the search was also a matter of question by Sherman as English is not Isaac’s native language as made evident by a translator at the defense table.
Then Judge I. Carson Crow denied the motion to suppress, allowing for the case to move forward, ultimately resulting in the no contest plea.
Isaac appealed his conviction to the Fourth District Court of Appeals, with the assistance of Attorney Keith Yeazel.
Yeazel argued the case before the Court of Appeal last summer, focusing on the traffic stop and the legality of a Ravenswood officer conducting a traffic stop in Ohio. Yeazel argued that the pursuit by the officer and the stop took place in Ohio where a Ravenswood Officer would not have jurisdiction.
While the officer turned to follow Isaac’s vehicle while in West Virginia, Yeazel stated that the pursuit to stop Isaac did not begin until they had crossed into Ohio.
The court sided with the defendant, stating that Boggess was not authorized to stop the vehicle for the alleged misdemeanor violation, and therefore the evidence found in the vehicle could not be used in the case.
In court on Friday, Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley stated that, given the ruling by the Court of Appeals, there was no evidence to allow the case to move forward, therefore he asked the case be dismissed.
Isaac was serving an 11 year prison sentence before being released at the conclusion of Friday’s hearing.
Sarah Hawley is managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.