Crime

AG’s office: 3 arrested in Clearfield County drug ring that sold crystal meth, cocaine

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on July 24, 2017.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro on July 24, 2017. Associated Press, file

Three Clearfield County residents were arrested for their involvement in a multi-state drug ring worth about $1.5 million, according to a press release from the Office of the Attorney General.

Sondra McQuillen, 53, allegedly traveled to Akron, Ohio, 26 times to obtain methamphetamine, cocaine and other drugs.

Jason Merritts, 36, and Joyce Merritts, 32, then allegedly bought the drugs from McQuillen before selling them to a confidential informant working with the AG’s office.

Many of the purchases took place at the Merritts’ residence in the 1000 block of Park Avenue Extension — in front of 10- and 12-year-old children.

“The illegal distribution of drugs is fueling an epidemic across Pennsylvania,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “Crystal methamphetamine trafficking is on the rise again, particularly in rural parts of our Commonwealth — and our agents and prosecutors will investigate and charge it wherever we find it. This case is particularly egregious, since the defendants are charged with selling drugs in the presence of two young children. That’s reprehensible and we’re holding them accountable.”

Thomas was federally charged, while McQuillen and the Merritts were charged by the AG’s office.

McQuillen was charged with 16 various felonies, Jason Merritts was charged with 21 various felonies and Joyce Merritts was charged with 12 various felonies.

The three were arraigned before Clearfield County District Judge Brian Glass, who set monetary bail at $100,000. Neither of the three posted bail and are being detained at Clearfield County prison.

Their preliminary hearings are scheduled for Sept. 26.

“Thanks to strong law enforcement collaboration between our office, Akron, Ohio law enforcement and the DEA — and the hard work of the men and women of the 43rd Statewide Investigative Grand Jury — we’ve broken up this drug ring peddling its poisons in Pennsylvania,” Shapiro said. “We’re doing whatever it takes to attack this problem in cities, towns and counties across Pennsylvania — and anywhere else our investigations may lead.”

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