In court: Stripper pole fraud, doddering granny selling painkillers
You can never truly say you’ve seen it all in court, even when the events that transpire stretch one’s imagination.
Two female defendants Sept. 17 pled guilty to five counts of financial identity fraud in which they purchased a stripper pole. Later in the day, a grandmotherly defendant who could barely hobble to the podium pled guilty to dealing narcotics to an undercover officer: pills that she had been prescribed for back pain.
The case of the stripper pole ended with guilty pleas from Sharhonda N. Redmon, 25, and Loreal T. Carver, 23, both of Summerwind Drive, Jonesboro, each of whom was sentenced to five years probation, a $1,000 fine and they were ordered to pay $550 in restitution to the victim.
Redmon and Carver admitted to using a local resident’s debit card to pay two cellphone bills, buy a meal at Zaxby’s and also purchase the stripper pole in addition to a transaction at a Dollar General store, all of which occurred on May 19.
The case of the elderly drug dealer involved a Riverdale woman who admitted to dealing 75 hydrocodone (Lortab) pills to an undercover sheriff’s deputy in December in the parking lot of a convenience store.
Linda Powell, 68, was sentenced to two years on house arrest via an ankle monitor. Although Superior Court Judge Fletcher Sams was hesitant not to order prison time typically associated with drug selling convictions, he admitted that Powell’s deteriorating health as proven by medical records indicated that it would be very costly for the county and the state to incarcerate her.
Sams ordered Powell to remain in her home on house arrest with few exceptions.
“You can go to the doctor’s office, the court and the probation office, that’s it,” Sams said.
The judge also warned Powell that he would encourage law enforcement officers to routinely visit her home and search it to make sure she is not skimming pills off prescriptions to sale to others. Powell had no previous criminal record, it was noted.
Powell was also hit with a $1,000 fine and will have to pay for the ankle monitoring service, which will cost around $300 a month
Powell, who was frail and walked with a cane, had to hang onto the podium while entering her plea in court before a sheriff’s deputy got her a chair to sit in. She has been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other heart ailments.
Prosecutors noted that Powell’s daughter, Sandra L. Scites, also pled guilty to the crime as she participated in the sale by negotiating with the undercover agent after approaching the window of the car in which Powell had placed the bag.
Other guilty pleas of note in Superior Court Monday included:
• Michael Timothy Bullard, 41, for five counts of burglary. Sentenced to fifteen years in prison followed by 15 years on probation. Bullard has been incarcerated on eight different burglary counts over the years in Fayette, Spalding and Clayton counties
• Stephen Jones, 22, of Broad Street, Griffin for burglary and obstruction of a law enforcement officer. Sentenced to six years in prison followed by nine years on probation;
• Willie Cornelius Lovett of Elbridge Avenue, Atlanta for financial identity fraud. Sentenced to one year in prison followed by seven years on probation;
• Steven Alexander Reid, 17, of Sawgrass Way, Hampton for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Sentenced to five years probation and a $2,500 fine. Reid is currently serving jail time in Clayton County for a separate incident;
• Thomas Lee Jones of Fairview Road, Brooks for aggravated assault, battery (family violence) and cruelty to children in the third degree along with criminal trespassing. Sentenced to 10 years probation, the first year on house arrest with a GPS ankle monitor paid by Jones. Jones is also required to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and undergo a drug abuse evaluation and any recommended treatment stemming from that evaluation. Jones’s attorney said he is the sole provider for his wife and child in addition to two other children, which is why the house arrest provision was requested. He will be allowed to go to work while on house arrest.