DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Ohio

For Immediate Release

Friday, July 12, 2019

Cleveland Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Using a Firearm While Trafficking Fentanyl, Heroin and Cocaine

A Cleveland man was sentenced to 30 years in prison for using a firearm while trafficking fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

Kernice Martin, 42, was sentenced to 360 months in federal prison. A jury found Martin guilty in April of four charges: possession with intent to distribute heroin and fentanyl; possession with intent to distribute cocaine; possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

Martin was pulled over by Cleveland police for a traffic stop on June 15, 2018 and found to have 0.79 grams of a mixture of fentanyl and heroin, 8.41 grams of cocaine, a Taurus .40-caliber handgun and ammunition. Martin was prohibited from possessing firearms because of three previous convictions for drug trafficking and one previous conviction for drug possession, according to court documents.

“Drug traffickers illegally carry firearms to protect their cash and their supply,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said.

“This case is another example of law enforcement working together to make our community safer.” “Individuals who use firearms to further their criminal enterprises are a threat to everyone in our community,” said Jonathan McPherson, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at the Cleveland Division of Police to make our city safer for everyone.”

This was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn Andrachick and Michael A. Sullivan following an investigation by the Cleveland Division of Police and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.


Columbus Field Division