MILLERSBURG -- Outlining years of addiction that culminated in criminal charges for trafficking in drugs and an unrelated overdose, a Killbuck woman on Wednesday, Feb. 22, admitted to selling methamphetamine to an informant working with law enforcement.
Devin Jade Williams, 22, whose last known address was 3251 Township Road 1021, pleaded guilty in Holmes County Common Pleas Court to two counts of trafficking in cocaine. In exchange for her guilty plea, the state dismissed four other drug trafficking charges. For her part, Williams agreed to repay $295 in buy money associated with all six charges.
She is set to be sentenced on April 6, at which time she faces up to three years in prison.
Williams, currently incarcerated because she violated her bond by testing positive for methamphetamine and heroin, told Judge Robert Rinfret, "I'm very scared, to be honest with you."
Never in trouble before, Williams said she started using drugs over the past few years and "it just escalated."
"Drugs got the best of me," she said, adding, as much as she dislikes being in jail, "it's the clearest my mind has been in the past two years. It's the best thing that's happened to me."
Her drug of choice, she said, is meth, but she had moved into also using heroin. In the wake of her criminal indictment, she overdosed, although "the people I was with were able to bring me back."
Her family knew she was using, but was unaware of the extent of her addiction, said Williams, noting that addiction has shattered her dreams of becoming a nurse.
But, she said, her mind has changed and her heart has taken a turn for the positive since becoming incarcerated three weeks ago.
"I think I've learned my lesson," she told Rinfret, who said it's a line he's heard from many others before.
He ordered a referral to Stark Regional Community Correction Center, noting, "It's very difficult for someone like you to get off of drugs. But, I don't want to send you to prison. I want you to get help."
"My thought it to send you to an inpatient treatment facility. I want you back in society. The bottom line is you're going to go to some program. I let you out once before, and look where we are now," he said, referring to Williams' bond violation.
The charges stem from three incidents, twice in the vicinity of a school, occurring on July 29, Aug. 1 and Aug. 6. They reflect not only the drug allegedly offered for sale, but that which was delivered.
"An offer to sell drugs in Ohio is illegal," said Holmes County Assistant Prosecutor Steve Knowling, at the time of Williams' indictment.
By charging for both drugs, the state closes the door to a potential defense on only one. Defendants, however, can only be convicted for one of two, the offer to sell cocaine or the actual sale of meth, he said of the charging decision made in the case Williams and three others.
The discrepancy was identified when the purchased product tested negative for cocaine, according to LEAD Task Force Commander Joe Mullet. However, references to "chards," a term associated with crystal meth, prompted lab analysis, which tested positive for meth.
Based on intelligence gathered and similarities in the four cases, Mullet said, it is believed all four cases are connected, and the investigation continues and charges are pending against the man thought to be the local source of the drugs involved.
Reporter Christine Pratt can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org.