CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man involved with a drug ring that brought large quantities of methamphetamine to the area pleaded guilty Monday.
Both Jason Merritts, 37, and his wife, Joyce, 33, 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.”
Jason Merritts pleaded guilty Monday morning before Judge Paul E. Cherry to felony charges of possession with intent to deliver-methamphetamine, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of communication facility, endangering the welfare of children and corrupt organizations.
Cherry sentenced him to 3.5 to seven years in state prison with an additional 10 years of probation.
In January, Joyce Merritts was before Cherry to plead guilty to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of communication facility and endangering the welfare of children.
She was sent to state prison to be evaluated for entry into the state intermediate punishment program.
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 allegedly continued traveling to Ohio where she reportedly 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.
The case against McQuillen is still pending.