Cocaine trafficker tells judge she’s turned around her life

A Marietta woman asked Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane to consider her efforts to get her life together as he sentenced her Tuesday for trafficking in cocaine.

“I finally turned myself around, Mr. Lane,” Jodie D. Miller, 29, of 27360 State Route 7, Lot 17, said during the Tuesday morning hearing. “I just hope you don’t put me away for a long time because I’m doing good.”

Lane responded by sentencing Miller to two months in the Washington County Jail and five years of community control. The jail term was a month more than requested by Miller’s attorney, Washington County Public Defender Ray Smith, and three months less than recommended by county Prosecutor Jim Schneider.

“I wish you the best of luck, but it’s up to you to get your life turned around,” Lane said at the end of the hearing. “I hope you do.”

Miller pleaded guilty earlier this year to one fifth-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs. A second fifth-degree trafficking count was dropped as part of the plea agreement.

On Tuesday, Miller told Lane she is in counseling and recently regained custody of her 3-year-old daughter. She has a part-time job with an employer who is aware of her situation and willing to train her for a full-time position.

Miller was one of 11 people arrested in October after secret indictments were returned against them by a Washington County grand jury. All of the charges were drug offenses, and law enforcement officials said the indictments were issued in secret so as not to tip off the suspects that they were going to be arrested.

The charges against Miller came from two transactions, Schneider said – one in June at a parking lot near the Interstate 77 exit in Marietta and another in July at her residence.

Miller admitted her guilt and apologized when Lane asked her if she wanted to make a statement.

“But the sad part is the person that wore the wire on me, I told them that I want to get out of this game,” she said.

Lane noted Miller’s remorse but also her criminal record, which, although it consisted of only misdemeanors, was nevertheless “extensive,” he said, noting multiple charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and driving under suspension, as well as counts of assault and arson.

The judge told Miller the law did not allow him to sentence her to prison on the charges Tuesday, but if she doesn’t obey the provisions of community control, that could change.

“Both myself and the law require 100 percent compliance,” Lane said. “If you violate them, it’s my intention to send you to prison for 12 months.”

The rules include obeying all laws, following the instructions of the court and supervising officers, not traveling outside Washington County or Wood County, W.Va., without receiving written permission and not owning a firearm or other deadly weapon.

Miller was taken into custody at the close of the hearing. She will receive credit for two days already served in the jail.