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Two Plead Guilty To Drug Charges

By Staff | Jul 15, 2015

Co-defendants Jon Stearns, Brittany Powell, and Jennifer Read all pleaded guilty to drug-related offenses Friday, July 10 in Wetzel County Circuit Court.

Jon Thomas Stearns, 29, of 100 North Bridge Street, New Martinsville, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to deliver a controlled narcotic substance. Prosecuting Attorney Timothy Haught stated the prosecution would offer testimony from the police officer relative to the traffic stop that was conducted.

Stearns admitted he was in the same vehicle as Powell and was trying to make a sale. He said he was going to give the money to Powell. He says he was just a ride-along and “just did it once,” suggesting Powell had roped him into the crime.

Stearns was sentenced to one to five years in prison and was given credit for approximately 146 days served. The court was informed the state would not oppose a motion for reduction in sentence after an additional 40 days.

The Honorable Judge David W. Hummel Hummel reminded the court he did not have to grant the motion for reduction in sentence, adding he now has a homeplan for defendants that has been updated. He said home plan forms also have to be submitted so probation officers and the court can consider a motion for reduction in sentence “more maturely.”

Stearns was charged by the May 2015 Wetzel County Grand Jury with conspiracy to deliver a controlled narcotic substance (buprenorphine). This offense allegedly occurred on or about Feb. 10, 2015.

Powell, 30, of 125 Central Street, New Martinsville admitted to conspiring, admitting that she “guessed” she roped Stearns into the crime.

When asked when the last time was that she had used narcotics, Powell claimed she did not remember. However, the court was alerted to the fact Powell, who is with child, had tested positive for several substances, including methamphetamines, suboxin, and opiates. Hummel remarked this was in violation of Powell’s bond and ordered her to prison. “That is going to serve the purpose of detox,” he said.

In regards to her conspiracy conviction, Powell is to return to court July 20 for sentencing.

Powell, represented by Attorney Brent Clyburn, was charged with both conspiracy to deliver a controlled narcotic substance (buprenorphine) and delivery of a controlled narcotic substance (buprenorphine). The alleged offenses occurred on or about Feb. 10, 2015.

Jennifer Nicole Read, 29, of 100 North Seventh Avenue, Paden City, pleaded guilty to possession of heroin, with intent to deliver. Read reserves the right to argue sentencing; therefore, she will return to court July 20 for sentencing. It was also determined Read was appropriate for an alternative court program.

Read was indicted twice by the May 2015 grand jury, the charges being possession of a controlled narcotic substance (heroin) with intent to deliver.

Haught explained the offense occurred in Wetzel County. He said Read was accompanied by Sterns and Powell. “We believe we could prove that she, infact, possessed heroin at that time, with the intent to deliver. She had heroin on her person.”

A pre-sentencing investigation is to be conducted in the case. Read will return to court July 20.