Heroin dealer looking beyond time in prison

An area woman was sentenced Monday in Washington County Common Pleas Court to three and a half years in prison for selling heroin.

After a two-day jury trial in early August, Stacy R. Thompson, 33 and homeless, was found guilty of three fifth-degree and one fourth-degree felony counts of trafficking in heroin. The later charge was elevated because it occurred within 1,000 feet of Harmar Elementary School. Thompson has previous addresses in both Marietta and Parkersburg.

Twice in July 2012 a confidential informant purchased heroin from Thompson in Marietta. A second informant purchased drugs from Thompson twice more in January.

Thompson’s attorney Ray Smith argued again at sentencing that Thompson’s Sixth Amendment rights had been violated during trial because neither confidential informant testified.

“She has the right to confront her accusers. That’s by the book a constitutional right. That’s what she wanted. That didn’t happen,” said Smith at sentencing.

The defense did not subpoena either of the two confidential informants. The prosecution requested a subpoena for one of the two informants, but he could not be found to be served the subpoena, said Chief Deputy Mark Warden of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

During the trial, Major Crimes Task Force agents who had shadowed the buys testified that Thompson was seen during or immediately following all four buys.

However, Thompson was only convicted of the July 5 transaction on circumstantial evidence, argued Smith.

“For count two, no witnesses saw that happen. We would ask the court run that sentence concurrent to any other sentence imposed,” he said of the second July transaction.

Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider argued for consecutive sentences on all four of the charges for which Thompson had been found guilty.

“State recommends consecutive prison sentences of 11, 11, 17, and 11 months, for a 50-month combined prison sentence,” said Schneider.

Schneider pointed to the fact that Thompson was out of jail on bond for the first two offenses when she committed the second two offenses. She also has previously served time in prison, he said.

He also requested Thompson be ordered to pay $1,005 to the Major Crimes Task Force for the buy money.

Since being incarcerated following her Aug. 8 conviction, Thompson has acknowledged having a drug problem and is eager for help, said Smith.

“She actually thanked you for sending her to jail. She’s clear-headed. She’s thinking rationally,” he said.

Thompson also gave a statement, apologizing to the court for her outburst during conviction, when she yelled at a testifying task force agent.

“I know I’ve been a menace to society. I’ve been doing this since I was 13. I’m 33. I’m tired. I know I need help,” she said.

Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane sentenced Thompson to the maximum on all four charges-12 months, 12 months, 18 months and 12 months. He did however agree to run the second 12-month charge concurrently as Smith had requested, meaning Thompson will serve three and a half years.

Citing her inability to pay, Lane did not order Thompson to pay restitution.