President pardons Marion County man

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By Stephen Lega

A Marion County man has received a Presidential pardon.

Lesley Claywood Berry Jr. of Loretto was one of five people to receive a pardon from President Barack Obama on Nov. 21.
Berry had been convicted of conspiracy to manufacture, possession with intent to distribute marijuana in 1988 in U.S. District Court in Minnesota.
He was sentenced April 29, 1988, to three years in prison.
According to an Associated Press news story, Berry was involved with the “Cornbread Mafia,” and was an associate of Washington County native Johnny Boone.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice website, a pardon will restore rights lost as a result of the pardoned offense, but it does not erase or expunge the record of a conviction. Individuals who are pardoned must still disclose their conviction on forms where it is required, but they may also note that they were pardoned.
The DOJ website also notes that other penalties associated with a conviction, such as loss of the right to vote or hold public office, are imposed by state governments, and therefore, they may only be restored by state action.
The other individuals pardoned Monday are:
- Dennis George Bulin of Wesley Chapel, Fla., who was convicted in 1987 in Alabama of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute in excess of 1,000 pounds of marijuana.
- Ricky Dale Collett of Annville, Ky., who was convicted of aiding and abetting in the manufacture of 61 marijuana plants in 2002 in the Eastern District of Kentucky.
- Martin Kaprelian of Park Ridge, Ill., who was convicted in 1984 in the Northern District of Illinois of conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce, transporting stolen property in interstate commerce, and concealing stolen property that was transported in interstate commerce.
-Thomas Paul Ledford of Jonesborough, Tenn., who was convicted in 1995 in Eastern District of Tennessee of conducting and directing an illegal gambling business.