GALLIPOLIS — A Dayton man was recently sentenced by the Gallia Court of Common Pleas to 11 years in a state facility for the first-degree crime of aggravated trafficking of methamphetamine in one of the largest methamphetamine drug stops in recent Gallia County memory, said Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren.
Kelvin Lightfoot, 26, was pulled over by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers on Aug. 7 when law enforcement reportedly noticed Lightfoot driving over traffic lines.
“Lightfoot was the sole occupant of a pickup truck traveling on US 35,” said Holdren. “He was observed near milepost three and stopped near milepost seven. He was going outside of his lanes… Trooper Drew Kuehne initiated the traffic stop. When he approached the vehicle, he noticed two things immediately. The smell of marijuana coming from the vehicle and he also noticed marijuana residue or shake all over the middle console. Lightfoot acknowledged that he had smoked marijuana earlier and had a small amount in the truck. He was then asked out of the truck and a pat down was performed on his person.”
Trooper Matt Atwood responded to assist and located in the truck two packages containing suspected crystal methamphetamine on the rear seat of the vehicle. The drugs contained was reportedly measured at 728.4 grams of methamphetamine.
Lightfoot was then arrested and placed in the custody of the Gallia Sheriff’s Office.
“We were able to quickly indict this individual and bring him to court where he pleaded guilty,” said Holdren. “This is a felony of the first-degree and three grams is (legally) considered bulk for methamphetamine. We had well over 100 times bulk here and so Lightfoot was considered a major drug offender… Basically an MDO classification takes the discretion away from the trial judge and she has to give the maximum sentence. He got the maximum, minimum term of 11 years but could serve up to 16 and a half years, if the prison considers it.”
According to Holdren, if a felony in Ohio is considered first or second-degree, whatever the stated prison term is, half of that is taken and added to the term and potentially tacked onto a convict’s length of stay in a prison if corrections administration deems it necessary because of misbehavior of the convict or other such factors.
“My office will continue to prosecute drug trafficking offenses to the fullest extent possible,” said Holdren. “We were seeing a lot of heroin and then fentanyl and carfentanyl towards the beginning of my administration. Now, over half of our cases seem to be dealing with the return of methamphetamine within the last year. We won’t be accepting any of that activity in Gallia County as we continue to work with our law enforcement partners to keep our communities safe.”
Holdren thanked the troopers for their work in the arrest as well as Ohio State Highway Patrol administration involved with the case.
“We had Mr. Lightfoot for roughly 98 days,” said Holdren. “We want to work quickly to send a message that these incidents will not be tolerated.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.