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Salyersville Independent

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Five plea deals taken so far in fed drug case

Five of the nine defendants in a federal drug case have taken plea deals, with a jury trial scheduled for next month for those that have not pleaded out in the case.

PIKEVILLE – Five of the nine defendants in a federal drug case have taken plea deals, with a jury trial scheduled for next month for those that have not pleaded out in the case.

In September 2019 seven people were indicted on conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and heroin in Pike and Magoffin counties from August 2018 through September 2019. In May 2020 two more people were added to the case in a superseding indictment.

Starting last month defendants in the case started asking the court for re-arraignment hearings. To date, Karen Spears and Lois Spears pleaded guilty to an amended charge on May 27, Lauren Ashley Powell on June 3, Charles R. Doneghy on June 7, and Emilee G. Yonts on June 10. Separate sentencing hearings for the five are scheduled from September 30 through October 19.

A jury trial is currently still set for July 26, 2021, with Ivory Lee Dean, III, John Wesley Wright, Lonna B. Music, and Lonnie D. Thacker Jr. still listed as awaiting trial.

Eight of the nine defendants, with the exclusion of Doneghy, are currently being held at the Pike County Detention Center. None of the nine are listed as Magoffin County residents.

Editor’s Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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