Two Women Face Drug Charges In Athens Courtroom

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Two women faced drug charges in the Athens County Common Pleas Court on Friday. One is going to prison and one is going to rehabilitation treatment.

Ebony C. Saunders, 31, of Virginia pleaded guilty to one count of trafficking in cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine.

She was sentenced to a mandatory six years in prison with no chance of early release and a possible five year driver’s license suspension. Saunders and two other individuals had been pulled over for a traffic stop on November 7, 2013, and 198 grams of cocaine were located.

“This case involves a transient passing through our county with a large amount of cocaine. Not only is the outcome a huge win for Athens County, but also the State of Virginia as well. That is where the cocaine was headed,” Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said.

Ashley Jude, 26, of Columbus also appeared in court Friday and entered a plea of guilty to one count of possession substance and one count of tampering with evidence.

Upon agreement of the parties, Judge L. Alan Goldsberry placed Jude on five years of community control and ordered her to complete the Franklin County Community Based Correction Facility Program (CBCF).

“This case involves an individual with no prior criminal history. The CBDF program will give Ms. Judge the opportunity for drug treatment.

Provided that she takes advantage of the services offered to her, it is the hope of this office that Ms. Judge become a drug free member of society and not re-offend,” Prosecutor Blackburn said.