Mom who sold pain pills sentenced to time in jail

A Marietta woman who sold prescription pain pills in the presence of her young daughter was sentenced Tuesday in Washington County Common Pleas Court to 90 days in jail.

In fact, there had been several children around when Stacey M. Cole, 27, of 703 Eighth St., sold the pills to a confidential informant with the Washington County Major Crimes Task Force near her home last year, said Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

“She was doing it on trick or treat night last year. So there were kids all over the place. And an officer was there in a costume and saw the whole thing,” said Schneider.

Cole was originally indicted on a third-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs due to the presence of the juvenile and the amount of pills-20 Percocets.

She pleaded guilty Aug. 30 to a reduced fourth-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs.

The maximum penalty for a fourth-degree felony is 18 months in prison, but both Schneider and Cole’s attorney Rolf Baumgartel agreed that state law prohibited Cole from being sent to prison because of her lack of a record.

“She doesn’t even have a speeding ticket,” said Baumgartel.

Baumgartel also asked if Cole could serve an intermittent sentence so she could continue to parent her daughter.

“She and her boyfriend have been living together 11 years and have a 7-year-old daughter together. … He just got a job at Thermo Fisher in August and he will lose that job because of the child care,” said Baumgartel.

“She was selling the drugs with the kid present,” interjected Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane.

Baumgartel added that Cole started going to a methadone clinic in Parkersburg last year, but has since switched over to counseling at L&P Services and kicked drugs all together.

“She didn’t want to go into withdrawal at the jail so she quit the methadone,” said Baumgartel.

He also referenced a letter from L&P Services showing a clean drug screen taken around a month ago.

Lane agreed to the intermittent sentencing.

“What’s the schedule?” he asked.

Cole said she would do weekends, possibly staying Friday through Monday instead of the typical weekend sentence of Friday through Sunday.

Inmates who serve their sentences on the weekends are subject to a $75 charge each weekend, noted Schneider.

“If you’re gonna do that, my request would be that she go in today, get booked, get one day credit,” he said.

While Cole’s personal recognizance bond mandates her appearance in court, it does not mandate her appearance at the jail. Having her be immediately booked solves that problem, he said.

Lane ordered Cole to be booked immediately and also agreed to order Schneider’s request for $100 in restitution to be paid to the Major Crimes Task Force for the drug buy money.