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Drugs theme in court cases

Drugs continue to be a theme in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court, making up the majority of cases on a weekly basis. On Wednesday, several defendants were sentenced after making guilty pleas, while numerous others pleaded not guilty to their crimes and await trials.

• Justin Blackburn, 27, of 243 County Road 42, Proctorville, pleaded not guilty to possession of drugs (Suboxone), a fifth-degree felony. Ballard continued a $5,000 cash or surety bond from lower court, set a $25,000 OR bond and ordered him to be placed on GPS monitoring. Pretrial was set for April 25.

• Corey Brewer, 28, of 5056 County Road 15, South Point, denied community-controlled sanctions (CCS) violations. Judge Andy Ballard set CCS trial for April 11.

• Shawn Collins, 29, of 710 County Road 10A, Pedro, pleaded guilty to burglary, a second-degree felony. Ballard sentenced him to seven years in prison and ordered him to pay a $10,000 fine, $1,000 in restitution and court costs. If he maintains a clean record in prison, he will be eligible for judicial release after five years.

• Samantha Cook, 37, of 12304 State Route 243, Chesapeake, pleaded not guilty to illegal conveyance of prohibited items onto the grounds of a detention facility or institution, a third-degree felony, tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony, and possession of marijuana, a minor misdemeanor. Ballard set bond at $5,000 cash or surety and $35,000 OR. Pretrial was set for April 25.

• Eddie Estep, 36, of 630 Township Road 60, South Point, pleaded not guilty to complicity to trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fifth-degree. Ballard set bond at $25,000 OR and ordered him to be placed on GPS monitoring. Pretrial was set for April 18.

• Michael Fritz, 40, of 105 Township Road 616, South Point, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, a fifth-degree felony, and criminal trespass, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Ballard set sentencing for April 18, and released him on a $35,000 OR bond until then.

• Kimberly Johnson, 27, of 165 Township Road 1036, South Point, admitted CCS violations. Ballard set sentencing for April 11, and she is on GPS home confinement until then.

• Taft Maynard, 25, of 1097 County Road 1, Apt. 27, South Point, pleaded not guilty to trafficking in drugs (methamphetamine), a fourth-degree felony. Ballard set bond at $30,000 OR and ordered him to be placed on GPS monitoring. Pretrial was set for April 25.

• Timothy Vanblarcume Jr., 28, of 403 Fourth St. E., Apt. 5, South Point, pleaded not guilty to trafficking in hashish, a fourth-degree felony, trafficking in marijuana, a fourth-degree felony, and possession of marijuana, a felony of the fifth-degree. Ballard continued a $2,500 cash or surety bond from lower court and set a $30,000 OR bond. Pretrial was set for April 25.

• David Webb, 30, of 2913 Hamilton St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to five counts of trafficking in drugs (methamphetamine), four fourth-degree and one third-degree felonies, two counts of assault on a peace officer, both felonies of the fourth-degree, and possession of drugs (methamphetamine), a fifth-degree felony. Ballard sentenced him to seven years and 11 months in prison. He also had $614 forfeited in the case. If he maintains a clean record in prison, he will be eligible for judicial release after six years.

• Kelli Carrico-Runyon, 32, of 615 Cliff St., Ironton, or 720 S. 10th St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs (methamphetamine), a fifth-degree felony, and in a separate case, pleaded guilty to disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, also a fifth-degree felony. Judge Charles Cooper sentenced her to four years CCS under intensive supervised probation (ISP) with 22 months reserved, and ordered her to complete STAR.

• Cody D. Gollihue, 22, of 17 Havens Lane, West Liberty, Kentucky, pleaded not guilty to possession of heroin, fifth-degree felony. Cooper set bond at $20,000 OR. Pretrial was set for April 25.

• Benjamin Scott Hughes, 43, of 1200 Vine St., Ironton, pleaded guilty to three counts of trafficking in drugs (methamphetamine), all fourth-degree felonies, and in another case, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs (methylin), a fifth-degree felony. Cooper set sentencing for April 25.

• Douglas N. Price Jr., age and address unknown, admitted CCS violations. Cooper set sentencing for April 18.

• Tommy Rockwell, 34, of 330 Walnut St., Ironton, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of drugs (methamphetamine), both fifth-degree felonies, and possession of cocaine, also a felony of the fifth-degree. He could not be admitted to STAR following his first sentencing, and Cooper resentenced him to six months in jail.

• Joseph L. Swanson, 45, of 3877 16th St., Huntington, West Virginia, or 24 South View Lane, Huntington, West Virginia, previously pleaded not guilty to two counts of possession of a controlled substance (heroin), both fifth-degree felonies, and two counts of possession of drug abuse instruments, both second-degree misdemeanors. In another case, he previously pleaded not guilty to escape, a third-degree felony, tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, and vandalism, a felony of the fifth-degree. He rejected the state’s final offer of 30 months in prison, and is facing a maximum of seven years if found guilty at trial. Trial was set for a later date.

• Leo A. Ulery, age and address unknown, admitted CCS violations. Cooper continued his CCS under ISP and ordered him to complete treatment at Mended Reeds.

• Jesse Lee Walker, 18, of 6016 County Road 41 N., Pedro, pleaded guilty to possession of drugs (methamphetamine), a fifth-degree felony. Cooper sentenced him to four years CCS under ISP with 11 months reserved.