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Woman sentenced in Nelson Circuit Court to 3-plus years for involvement in meth distribution network

Woman sentenced in Nelson Circuit Court to 3-plus years for involvement in meth distribution network

Only $5 for 5 months

A Staunton woman was sentenced July 21 in Nelson Circuit Court to serve an active sentence of three years and six months on charges stemming from her involvement in a methamphetamine distribution operation.

Jennifer Forrer Pearce is charged with one count of racketeering and two charges of meth distribution for varying amounts. She received a total suspended sentence of 26 years and six months.

According to Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Daniel Rutherford, Pearce was a distributor for the drug operation led by Peter Jelf Porter, 53, who pleaded guilty on drug charges June 30 and is facing a minimum active sentence of 14 years.

From July 2017 until she was arrested in Albemarle County around June 2019, Pearce would purchase meth from dealers in Nelson County and would sell what she purchased in Albemarle County, according to the prosecutor. She was arrested carrying several ounces of meth, Rutherford said.

Porter, the Roanoke man at the head of the operation, would traffic more than 10 kilograms of meth into Nelson County from Roanoke weekly. From there, he would distribute primarily to three people including Camm Ragland IV, according to prosecutors’ evidence. Rutherford said Pearce would purchase meth from Ragland and would transport it to Albemarle County.

Rutherford said Pearce also faces an additional three years and six months for charges from Albemarle County, which will run consecutively to her other sentence.

Pearce was one of only a couple sentencing hearings left for the remaining members of the Porter distribution network. Not including Porter, a total of 11 other individuals pleaded guilty to their involvement.

Pearce’s defense attorney Joseph Sanzone in court said Pearce had some tragedies in her life which people took advantage of, leading to her involvement in the network.

“She’s somebody who we should not expect to see here again,” Sanzone said in court.

One of the distribution charges carried with it a minimum of five years active jail time, but her cooperation with prosecutors in identifying the extent of the operation in Nelson County exempted her, Rutherford said.

She must complete 10 years of good behavior and undergo a two-year supervised probation period after her release. She is currently held in Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail.

Nick Cropper covers Nelson County. Reach him at (434) 385-5522.

Nick Cropper covers Nelson County. Reach him at (434) 385-5522.

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