Georgia man sentenced after pleading guilty to drug trafficking

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

A Georgia man was sentenced Monday, Jan. 4, in the Division 4 Circuit Court after pleading guilty to drug trafficking in the second degree from an incident that took place on Interstate 70 in May of 2020.

James M. Clark, 40, of Vidalia, Ga., and his passenger were stopped by the Missouri State Highway Patrol last May. A search of the vehicle revealed 76 vacuum-sealed bundles of marijuana with an approximate weight of 130 pounds and approximately $22,854 in U.S. currency, THC vaporizer cartridges, and a ledger of the recent marijuana purchases, according to the probable cause statement. The statement also said that while the trooper was processing the two men, a 911 call in reference to an abduction of a young girl on the interstate prompted numerous officers from surrounding areas to respond. However, pinging the cell phone from which the call was made determined it was from the location of the traffic stop, and the passenger admitted to placing a fake call in hopes that it would divert the trooper’s attention from their vehicle.

Unofficial online court documents stated Clark withdrew a plea of not guilty and entered a plea of guilty on Jan. 4. He was sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections, with a suspended execution of sentence and was placed on five years supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000.