A Lancaster woman at the center of an alleged regional drug ring pleaded guilty Monday to multiple felony charges in Athens County Common Pleas Court.
Jessica Morris, 40, was sentenced by Athens County Common Pleas Judge George McCarthy to 10 years in prison and five years of post-release control. She pleaded guilty to two counts of the first-degree felony of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; one fifth-degree felony count of trafficking in heroin; one fourth-degree felony count of aggravated trafficking in drugs; a third-degree felony count of having weapons while under disability; a third-degree felony count of money laundering; and a fifth-degree felony count of obstructing justice.
A total of 14 people were indicted in August in connection with the alleged drug trafficking ring associated with Morris.
“After a lengthy investigation that dates back to the conviction of Robin L Starr in October of 2017, it was found that Morris was selling illegal narcotics out of her home in Fairfield County to residents of Athens County while also traveling to Athens and selling,” county Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said in a release Monday. “As a result of her actions, a number of individuals now face criminal charges for their role in her illegal enterprise.”
As a part of a plea agreement, the Prosecutor’s Office agreed not to oppose Morris’ judicial release from prison after five years, provided she testifies against the 14 individuals mentioned above or others potentially associated with the drug ring.