Five plead to drug charges

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2008

Five West Virginians arrested on heroin and other drug charges after a traffic stop on U.S. 52 earlier this year pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Diwanna Ross, 35, of Huntington, pleaded guilty to possession of crack cocaine and possession of criminal tools. In exchange, one count of possession of heroin and one count of trafficking in heroin were dismissed. Judge Charles Cooper delayed her sentencing until all the cases against her codefendants are resolved— and one by one, each case was resolved during separate hearings, thus eliminating the need for her to testify against them.

Earl Dancy, 52, of Huntington, W.Va., pleaded trafficking in heroin, possession of crack cocaine, possession of criminal tools and possession of heroin. Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced him to a total of four years in prison, suspended his driver’s license five years and fined him a total of $27,500. However, Dancy’s attorney, Derick Fisher, indicated his client will ask to have those fines waived since he is indigent. Dancy may be eligible for judicial release after three years. He was given credit for time served in jail awaiting conclusion of his case.

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Norman Ross, 38, of Huntington, followed Dancy into court and pleaded to those same charges. He was given the same sentence and fines. He may be eligible for judicial release after two years in prison if he can get into a community based correctional facility (CBCF). His attorney, Tyler Smith, indicated Ross will ask to have his fines waived as well.

“He is looking forward to getting released in two years and will conduct himself properly in prison,” Smith said.

Teresa Wentz, 45, of Milton, pleaded guilty to the same charges as Norman Ross and Early Dancy and got the same sentence. She may be eligible for judicial release after spending 18 months in prison if she can be admitted to a CBCF.

Misty Wentz, 30, Huntington, W.Va., pleaded guilty to the same charges also. She also was sentenced to a total of four years in prison and fined $27,500. She must also surrender her driver’s license five years. She may be eligible for judicial release after 3 years.

All five were arrested April 7 during an Ohio State Highway Patrol traffic stop.