GALLIPOLIS — A Dayton woman arrested in October of last year for possession of nearly 100 grams of heroin along with her driver in an Ohio State Highway Patrol traffic stop, was sentenced to nine years in prison Wednesday for the first-degree felony convictions in trafficking heroin and possession of it.
Andraya Washington, 23, was found guilty in a May 15 jury trial. Co-defendant, David Hudson, faces similar charges as well and is still facing court proceedings.
According to Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren, Hudson and Washington were pulled over for reported traffic stop violations on Oct. 14, 2016. Neither could produce legally applicable licenses. Trooper Matt Atwood separated the pair and reportedly asked them a series of questions regarding their destination. The pair’s stories supposedly conflicted in their answers to law enforcement.
The field weight of the recovered bag of heroin reportedly totaled at 101 grams, which would have placed Washington into a more severe bracket as a drug offender. However, when examined in a lab, the weight totaled to around 99 grams.
According to Holdren, moisture changes could account for the loss in weight as well as separating the substances from the baggies they were placed in. Had the drug weight been over 100 grams, Washington would have faced an automatic minimum sentence of 11 years in prison.
The defense asked for leniency in the sentencing and for three years. Washington had no previous record and said during the proceeding that she was accepting the cost of her decisions. The defense asked for leniency in regard to Washington’s two-year-old son in order to not miss more of his life. Washington was not believed to be an addict or heroin user.
Gallia Common Pleas Judge Margaret Evans sentenced Washington to nine years in accordance with what the prosecution felt was a “substantially large” amount of heroin.
When asked after the sentencing, Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren replied that while Washington would be spending time in prison, getting 99 grams of heroin off the streets had potentially “saved hundreds of lives.”
“From what we learned, there were people waiting at a residence on State Route 7 ready to buy the product,” said Holdren. “Getting that out of Gallia County will have saved possibly dozens of lives and resources spent on overdosing victims. The (Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin) and I have taken a very aggressive approach to the drug problem in Gallia. If you are a trafficker, we’re coming for you. If you are an addict, we want to get you clean and find jobs to better society.”
While those in possession of illegal drugs may have to face court, ultimately, Holdren said law enforcement wanted to see people successful and back on the right track of life.
“The street value of 99 grams of heroin is roughly a little under $30,000,” said Holdren.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.