Merritts Pleads Guilty to Being Part of Large Drug Ring

CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield woman accused of being part of a large drug ring was scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday during plea and sentencing court.

Joyce Lee Merritts, 32, and her husband, Jason were reportedly selling methamphetamine from their apartment from September of 2017 through July of 2018, according to information provided in grand jury testimony.

A search of their home in July uncovered drugs, paraphernalia, a handgun and a cell phone.

During a recent press conference, Attorney General Josh Shapiro stated that the Merritts sold meth in their residence while the two children were home “where children should be safe.”

On Tuesday Joyce Merritts pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of communication facility and endangering the welfare of children before Judge Paul Cherry.

At the request of a representative of the Attorney General’s office, Cherry sent Merritts to state prison to be evaluated for entry into the intermediate punishment program.

Jason Merritts is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

According to court documents, the source of the methamphetamine sold by the couple was Sondra McQuillen and her fiancé, Donald Mullens, who were bringing up to one pound of meth twice a week to Clearfield County from a contact in Akron, Ohio.

Mullens was allegedly spending $10,000 for one pound of methamphetamine once or twice a week in April of 2018.

After Mullens died from a drug overdose on May 22, McQuillen continued traveling to Ohio where she allegedly obtained at least four ounces of the drug each time.

Her source was listed as James Thomas, 49, of Akron, Ohio. He is also facing drug charges on a federal level, Shapiro reported at the press conference.

Although there is a case against Thomas filed with a local magistrate, the case is listed as inactive in online court documents.

The case against McQuillen is still pending.

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