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Drug charges bring over-50 crowd to court

Think of drug peddling and what comes to mind? Young adults, maybe?

In Lawrence County Common Pleas Court Wednesday, four people all over the age of 50 were brought in to face charges of dealing or using drugs.

James H. Ratcliff, 56, of 1192 County Road 9, Crown City, was arraigned on charges of aggravated possession of drugs, possession of crack cocaine and obstructing official business. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Marty Stillpass.

Judge D. Scott Bowling allowed bond posted in a lower court to continue but added a $20,000 own recognizance (OR) bond to it. Ratcliff must return to court Nov. 10 for a pretrial conference.

Linda Rosebrough, 59, of 2506 S. Fourth St., Ironton, was arraigned on a six-count indictment alleging complicity to trafficking in drugs. She pleaded not guilty through her attorney, Luke Styer.

“These are serious charges,” Lawrence County Prosecutor told Judge Charles Cooper in asking for a $20,000 cash/$40,000 property bond. Styer argued Rosebrough was not a flight risk, given her medical condition.

“She’s confined to a wheelchair with a broken hip,” Styer pointed out.

Cooper pointed out the Lawrence County Jail does have a nurse and doctor who make visits to the jail to care for prisoners with medical needs. He accepted Collier’s recommendation for bond at scheduled a Nov. 4 pretrial conference.

Frank E. Ziegler, 48, of 1216 S. Fifth, Ironton, was arraigned on a five-count drug indictment alleging trafficking in marijuana, corrupting another with drugs and three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs. He pleaded not guilty through his attorney, Tyler Smith.

Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Jeff Smith asked Bowling to set bond at $50,000 cash, $100,000 property plus an OR bond, but Tyler Smith argued for lower bail.

“My client is a Lawrence County resident, he’s from Ironton, he is working for his landlord, He’s never failed to appear in court before and he’s not a flight risk,” Tyler Smith said.

Bowling set bond a $50,000 OR bond plus $75,000 cash with electronically monitored home confinement. Ziegler must return to court Nov. 4 for a pretrial conference.

Martin L. Stapleton, 51, of 617 Vernon St., Ironton, was arraigned on two counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs.

He pleaded not guilty through Tyler Smith, who is also his attorney.

“My client is a resident of Ironton, he has no prior record. He is not employed, he’s on SSI,” Tyler Smith said. “He needs an OR bond. He’s not a violent criminal, not a flight risk.”

Bowling set bond at bond at $50,000 cash with electronically monitored home confinement plus a $50,000 OR bond. Stapleton must return to court Nov. 4 for a pretrial conference.

Gladys E. Lewis, 64, of also of 617 Vernon St., was arraigned on three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs. She pleaded not guilty through her attorney, Mike Gleichauf, who pointed out Lewis is a first-timer in the judicial system.

“She has been charged with allegations that, though serious, are not crimes of violence,” he said. “She has never been in trouble before. Bowling set bond at $100,000 cash, surety or property plus a $50,000 OR bond. Lewis must return to court Nov. 4 for a pretrial conference.