Marietta woman sentenced for heroin trafficking

A Marietta woman with a long history of drug addiction was sentenced Thursday to more than two years in prison for trafficking and possessing heroin.

Miriam J. Sergent, 52, of 213 Meigs St., pleaded guilty Dec. 13 to two of the nine drug-related drug charges levied against her over the past year-a fourth-degree felony count of possession of heroin and a fifth-degree felony count of complicity to trafficking in heroin.

Washington County Prosecutor Jim Schneider asked that Sergent be sentenced to consecutive 11-month prison sentences in each case.

“If court grants community control, we ask she be ordered to pay restitution for all the drug buys, even the ones that were dismissed,” he said.

Sergent’s attorney Ray Smith admitted that Sergent has had a lengthy criminal history coupled with her drug addiction. But her crimes have been sporadic, occurring almost like clockwork once a decade, he said.

“Her record is interesting. It’s like once every 10 years,” he said.

Sergent was charged with aggravated drug trafficking in 1985 and 1995 and drug trafficking in 2005.

She has medical problems and would benefit from treatment, said Smith.

He asked Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Ed Lane to sentence Sergent to the Eastern Ohio Correction Center where Lane had just sentenced a defendant the previous day.

“You mentioned the EOCC yesterday. That might be an option here,” said Smith.

Sergent also asked for the opportunity for more treatment.

“I didn’t wake up one morning and choose to be this way,” she said.

During her pre-sentence investigation interview, Sergent told an interviewer Lane had saved her life in the past.

She asked for a chance to get cleaned up again.

“I’m afraid of going to prison and there’s no treatment there,” she said.

However, Lane noted Sergent’s infractions seemed to be growing every time.

“It seems like each 10 years it gets worse,” he said.

In 1985 there was a single charge. In 1995 there were three drug charges, said Lane.

“This time there are nine separate charges,” he admonished.

Sergent was indicted in July on a third-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs, a fourth-degree felony count of possession of drugs, five fifth-degree felony counts of trafficking in drugs and a fifth-degree felony count of possession of drugs.

The charges stemmed from various undercover drug buys stretching back to 2011 and from heroin found during a search warrant executed at her residence in November 2012. The residence was again the subject of a search warrant in October, and Sergent was caught with 2.2 grams of heroin on her person.

Sergent was no longer amenable to community control, said Lane.

He sentenced her to 17 months in prison on the possession charge and 11 months in prison on the complicity charge-one month shy of the maximum on both charges.

Smith objected to Lane’s decision to run the sentences consecutively, but Lane noted Sergent’s five previous felony convictions and single felony probation violation warranted the 28-month sentence.

“I just hope she survives that long, to be honest with you,” said Smith.