U.S. Attorney’s Office, Pittsburgh, is seeking to take over from the Mercer County District Attorney’s Office the prosecution of a Farrell man charged with drug and gun offenses.

Jermaine L. Jackson, 24, of 1225 Roemer Blvd., Farrell, was arrested Sept. 28 after police found him in a stopped car at 12:30 a.m. in the middle of Roemer, Southwest Mercer County Regional police said.

When police approached, Jackson took off, eventually crashing the car into an embankment on Stevenson Street, Farrell, police said.

Jackson ran and was subdued by an electronic shocking device in the 300 block of Fruit Avenue, Farrell, police said.

Police said they found more than 1 ounce of crack cocaine in Jackson’s pocket, and money fell from his pocket when he hit the ground. A .380-caliber handgun was found on the ground nearby, police said.

Jackson’s case still is pending in Mercer County Common Pleas Court, but a federal grand jury indicted Jackson Dec. 4 on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of crack.

Jackson pleaded not guilty at his local arraignment Feb. 5 and has been released after posting bond.

Jackson’s federal case was sealed until Feb. 5.

Mercer County District Attorney’s Office typically allows federal charges to proceed over local charges because the federal government has stiffer sentences, more flexible search-and-seizure rules and greater investigative resources.

The previous felony conviction was from Mercer County, when Jackson pleaded guilty to a charge of robbery for stealing $140 and one-eighth ounce of crack from an undercover state trooper Dec. 3, 2001, at Wallis Avenue and George Street, Farrell. Jackson served 6 months’ house arrest and 18 months’ probation.

If convicted of both federal charges, Jackson could be sentenced to 10 years to life in prison.

Recommended for you