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Three in drug ring plead guilty

Three people arrested earlier this year for drug peddling pleaded guilty Wednesday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Cathy A. Simmons, 49, of 176 Township Road 1110, Proctorville, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs, four counts of complicity to aggravated trafficking in drugs and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Judge Charles Cooper sentenced her to four years in prison and suspended her driver’s license three years.

Simmons’ attorney, Mike Gleichauf, said Simmons had never been in this kind of trouble before and he doesn’t anticipate she will return to a life of drug and criminal activity once she is released from prison. For her part, Simmons said, “I really don’t have anything to say. I don’t know what to say. I’m sorry.”

Clifford R. Hively, 41, of 69 Township Road 1161, Lot 8C, Proctorville, pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

As in the case of Simmons, Cooper sentenced Hively to four years in prison and suspended his driver’s license three years.

Steven Baldwin, 26, of 176 Township Road 1110, Proctorville, pleaded guilty to three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs. He was given the same sentence as the other two.

“My client is a drug addict. He began shooting oxycodone and developed a severe habit as a result,” Baldwin’s attorney, Warren Morford, said. He told Cooper Baldwin did not profit from his drug sales. He sold drugs to support his own habit and fell in with the wrong crowd as a result. Morford said Baldwin even became involved in the Florida pill pipeline. “He stands before you remorseful,” Morford said.

For his part, Baldwin apologized to his family and to the community and said he would take the opportunity, while in prison, to change his life.

Cooper arranged for all three of the defendants to have supervised visits with their families before being sent to prison.