DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Monday, August 15, 2016
Carole S. Rendon
, United States Attorney
Contact: AUSA Assigned to Case

Roaming Shores Man Sentenced to 21 Years in Prison for Drug and Firearms Crimes

A Roaming Shores man was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison for federal drug and firearm crimes, law enforcement officials said.

James E. Brooks, 41, was previously found guilty in U.S. District Court on six counts, including distribution of heroin and crack cocaine, possession a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.

Brooks still has charges pending in state court related to the death of Alesha Bell.

Brooks distributed crack cocaine and heroin in August 2015, and possessed a firearm during those crimes, according to court documents.

On August 20, 2015, Brooks possessed a Walther, model P22, .22 Caliber Pistol; a Winchester, model 50, 12 gauge shotgun; and a Winchester, model 120, 12 gauge shotgun, despite previous felony convictions including drug abuse, burglary, aggravated robbery with a firearm specification, felonious assault, escape, and felonious assault with a firearm specification, all in the Trumbull County Court of Common Pleas, according to court documents.

“This defendant has spent most of his adult life terrorizing people,” U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon said. “This long prison sentence is appropriate given this defendant’s actions.”

“I would like to recognize the dedicated work of the TAG Task Force, the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ashtabula County Prosecutor’s Office,” Acting ATF Special Agent in Charge Brad Earman said. “Cooperation with our law enforcement partners multiplies our efforts to remove violent criminals from the streets and make our communities safer.”

“I very much appreciate the cooperative partnership that exists between my office and the US Attorney’s Office, along with the various state and federal law enforcement agencies,” said Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nicholas M. Iarocci. “This case is a perfect example of such partnership, as the charges were divided and coordinated in such a way so as to maximize the amount of incarceration which Mr. Brooks could receive. A number of serious charges remain pending in the Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court against Mr. Brooks involving the death of Alesha Bell, including involuntary manslaughter, human trafficking, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, compelling prostitution and gross abuse of corpse, along with several drug possession charges.”

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Katz following an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office, the Warren Police Department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Ohio BCI&I and the TAG Law Enforcement Task Force.

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Field Division: Columbus Field Division