GALLIPOLIS — A Columbus woman was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for first-degree felony trafficking in cocaine and 36 months for tampering with evidence in the Gallia Court of Common Pleas by Judge Margaret Evans.
“Kelsey Shannon, was arrested by the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office on November 11, 2018 as a result of an early morning traffic stop where approximately 100 grams of cocaine was seized,” said Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren. “Today, Ms. Shannon, was sentenced by Judge Margaret Evans to serve a mandatory prison term of five years to be served in the Ohio Reformatory for Women, a prison in Marysville, Ohio. Ms. Shannon was convicted of two separate charges resulting from this incident, which were Trafficking in Cocaine, a felony of the first-degree, and Tampering with Evidence, a felony of the third-degree. I am extremely pleased with the diligent efforts of the two young deputies who worked this investigation. Since Ms. Shannon was arrested, she has remained in the custody of the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and that custody will now be transferred to the Ohio Department of Corrections.”
Reportedly, Shannon was pulled over on Ohio 160 near Swango Road due to having only one headlight functioning at 1:34 a.m. As officers were standing around the car, one officer noted reported marijuana in plain view in the floor board of the vehicle before deciding officers needed to search the vehicle further and discovered cocaine.
Later, Shannon reportedly had a conversation with a friend by phone through the Gallia Jail and was recorded giving the individual personal information in an alleged attempt to remotely wipe information from her mobile device, thus resulting in a the tampering with evidence charge.
“This investigation is a result of deputies who were practicing proactive policing and performed a traffic stop on a vehicle for a traffic violation,” said Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin. “Based upon the initial stop coupled with the deputies using his training and experience, it quickly changed from a traffic stop to a major criminal investigation and it prevented a large quantity of this poison from being distributed in our county. To say that I’m proud of my staff for their diligent efforts is an understatement. This is just another example of how we are working day and night to eliminate the criminal element from our communities.”
Shannon would later apologize for the incident and say that she showed remorse. Her counsel stated she was a constructive member of society before the incident and a death of a loved one which the defense attributed to Shannon making gradually worse choices before being arrested. Shannon was partway through a college education before encountering Gallia law enforcement.
Evans encouraged Shannon to think about the offense and take every educational opportunity she could while within prison so she could move forward in life upon her release.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.