CLINTON — A Clinton man has pleaded guilty to one felony and one misdemeanor drug charge.
John H. Cooper, 42, 909 Sixth Ave. South, appeared Thursday in Clinton County District Court and pleaded guilty to failure to affix an Iowa drug tax stamp, a Class D felony; and possession of a controlled substance, namely marijuana, a serious misdemeanor. The State will recommend a suspended sentence and the minimum fine, surcharges, costs and attorney's fees for the failure to affix an Iowa drug tax stamp charge. The State will recommend 30 days in the Clinton County Jail, with 29 days suspended and credit for one day served, for the misdemeanor charge. The State will also recommend the minimum fine, surcharges, costs and attorney fees. The State will dismiss one count of possession of drug paraphernalia at sentencing, with costs assessed to Cooper. Sentencing is set for 9 a.m. March 22.
According to the affidavit, at 8:50 p.m. Sept. 22, an officer drove past Cooper's residence and observed Cooper sitting behind the wheel of a green 1998 Chevrolet Blazer. The officer checked Cooper's driving status through the State of Iowa. Cooper's license to drive was suspended for non-payment of an Iowa fine. The officer sat a block away from Cooper in an unmarked police car to see if Cooper would drive way. Cooper at 9:50 p.m. drove the vehicle away from in front of his house and headed north on Ninth Street south. The officer followed Cooper and conducted a traffic stop after Cooper squealed his rear tires while turning the corner at Fourth Avenue North and Fourth Street.
The affidavit states Cooper was the only occupant of the vehicle. Cooper stated he was not notified his license had been suspended. Cooper stated did not have insurance on the vehicle. Cooper was arrested for driving under suspension and given a citation for no insurance. The plates were removed from the vehicle.
The affidavit continues that during an inventory of the vehicle, two bags of marijuana were located in the armrest between the front seats. The bags together weighed 92 grams. Three other canisters of marijuana were located with state of Colorado THC stickers affixed. Two edible "cereal treats" with state of Colorado THC stickers affixed also were located. Two marijuana smoking pipes were located in the vehicle. Cooper possessed 98 grams of marijuana in total. Cooper was searched and said he had a capped syringe in his left jeans pocket. The syringe and an empty yellow bag were removed from the pocket.
The affidavit states Cooper was taken to the Clinton County Jail and read his rights. Cooper waived his rights and told an officer he had just returned from Colorado, where he had purchased the marijuana.