LeBron#039;s mentor arrested

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 25, 2002

AKRON, Ohio -- Police investigating drug trafficking raided a house owned by Eddie Jackson Jr., prep basketball star LeBron James' father figure.

The city's police narcotics unit charged Jackson's half brother, Ricky Garrett, 28, with trafficking in cocaine Friday after powder cocaine was found in his vehicle following a traffic stop, Lt. Mike Caprez said.

Two search warrants were then executed, turning up cocaine and $5,000 at the home of an Akron woman. A search of the home owned by Jackson turned up documents suspected to be related to ''Garrett's illegal activities,'' said Caprez, head of the narcotics unit.

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Police said Garrett was living in the house owned by Jackson, who was not charged in the drug case.

A message seeking comment was left with Jackson's attorney Angelo Lonardo.

Jackson faces 35 counts of engaging in corrupt activity, tampering with records, forgery, and money laundering in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.

The charges involve $776,000 in property sales on 14 houses worth less half that amount. The houses include the one where Garrett was living.

Jackson is involved in James' life as a mentor, but is not his father. James' mother, Gloria, has described Jackson as LeBron's father, saying the boy's biological father never has been involved in his life.

James, 17, is a two-time Ohio Mr. Basketball. He will be a senior this fall at Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and is expected to be a top NBA draft pick if he decides to skip college and turn pro. The Associated Press