Four of six caught in bust sentenced

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 3, 2008

Four of six people arrested in May in an Ironton drug bust pleaded guilty to the charges against them Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Jason Thomas, 26, Amanda Clutters, 25, and William D. Thomas, 31, all of 611 Mulberry St., and Stephen Thomas, 27, of 707 Walnut St., each pleaded guilty to trafficking in drugs.

Judge D. Scott Bowling sentenced each of them to a two-year prison sentence and ordered each of them to surrender their driver’s license.

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Jason Thomas, Stephen Thomas and Clutters were each fined a total of $10,000. William Thomas was fined $15,000.

None of the defendants offered any comment when asked if they had anything to say before they were sentenced.

However, Stephen Thomas’ attorney, Warren Morford, said although his client had one previous brush with the law, “that was eight years ago. Since then he has led a law-abiding life. He is a life-long resident of Lawrence County.”

In between the trips to the courtroom Wednesday, Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., said drug abuse and drug peddling, particularly as it pertains to serious drugs, are a big problem in Lawrence County.

“I think a lot of it has to do with poverty,” Collier said, “and a lack of good jobs.”

Asked if he thought the situation will worsen, given the downturn in the national economy, he replied, “It’s not getting any better.”

Cases are still pending against two others arrested at the same time, Elizabeth Johnson, of the Mulberry Street address and Jerry Johnson, of 1023 S. Sixth St.