An inmate at the Licking County Justice Center has been accused of running a major methamphetamine ring from inside the jail, according to documents filed Wednesday in Licking County Common Pleas Court.
The inmate is one of three people who were charged this week with first-degree felonies for allegedly participating in the distribution ring.
Jennifer L. Burns-Harman, 32, of Mount Vernon, James R. Parker, 35, of Newark, and Tylor S. Lemay, 26, of Newark, are each currently charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony.
Burns-Harman is believed to be the ringleader of the trio, according to court records. She had been in the Licking County jail since her release from prison on Oct. 30.
Between Nov. 1 and Tuesday, Burns-Harman is believed to have “arranged for multiple individuals to obtain methamphetamine from her supplier in Reynoldsburg,” court records said.
“Proceeds from the drug sales were placed on the defendant’s jail account to allow her to continue making phone calls and orchestrating the operations.”
Court records indicate phone calls monitored by staff at the jail helped them in the investigation.
Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force Lieutenant Paul Cortright said the trio is suspected of running high volumes of methamphetamine through Licking County.
“Countless people in Licking County were being supplied by this chain of dealers,” Cortright said.
A multi-week investigation led CODE to this trio and arrests were made earlier this week. Cortright said Parker was in possession of multiple ounces of methamphetamine at the time he was arrested.
“They had an organizational mindset in making a profit off the actions of others,” he said.
The trio are considered “upper-level dealers” and could face additional high-level felony charges when the case is reviewed by a grand jury.
All three suspects charged have histories in the Licking County court system.
Burns-Harman was released from prison on Oct. 30 after serving a sentence for possession and trafficking of methamphetamine, according to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction records.
At the time of her release from prison, she was placed in the Licking County jail on a pending third-degree felony aggravated possession of drugs case.
At a bond hearing earlier this week, Magistrate Mattie Klein ordered Burns-Harman held in lieu of $100,000 bond on the new charge.
Burns-Harman also has prior convictions for theft, assault, OVI, possession of drugs and falsification, according to court records.
Parker has felony convictions for escape, receiving stolen property, having weapons under disability, unlawful possession of a dangerous ordnance and improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.
He also has a pending charge for failure to comply.
At a bond hearing, Klein ordered Parker held in lieu of $200,000 bond on the first-degree felony charge and an additional $50,000 on the failure to comply charge.
LeMay has not served any prison time for convictions in Licking County, according to court records.
He was sentenced to three years of community control in 2014 after being convicted of trafficking in methamphetamine.
At a bond hearing Thursday afternoon in Licking County Common Pleas Court, Magistrate Matthew George ordered LeMay held in lieu of a $100,000 bond.
The cases against all three will be presented to a Licking County grand jury in the coming weeks to review for possible indictment and the consideration of additional charges.
Published by http://www.newarkadvocate.com/