Sullivan

RIPLEY - No sooner was she indicted on drug charges a third time than a Jackson County attorney was arrested on similar charges during an undercover drug buy.

Jessica Sullivan, 32, a sole practitioner in Ravenswood, was arrested on July 3, and charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit a felony and delivery of a controlled substance, and two counts of possession of precursors to manufacture methamphetamines. According to the criminal complaint in Jackson Magistrate Court, Sullivan was arrested at the home of a confidential informant working with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department after she was observed trading methamphetamines for materials used to make meth.

The complaint also alleges after the trade, she began smoking the meth with the informant. Following her arrest, Sullivan was taken to the South Central Regional Jail in South Charleston and held on $275,000 bond.

Sullivan's arrest came 10 days after she was indicted by the Jackson County grand jury on 23 counts of drug-related charges. The indictment charged Sullivan with 16 counts of possession of a substance used as a precursor to manufacture meth, three counts of attempting to operate a meth lab and four counts of conspiracy to commit a felony.

The indictment alleges the alleged acts took place between September 2007, and May 2009. Also, the indictment names Richard Cooper, Roger Hinzman, Jeremiah Johnson, Clifford Easton, Collie Gentry and Matthew Tuttle as co-conspirators in some of the charges.

Last year, Sullivan was first indicted following a special grand jury empanelled to address the issue of meth use and trafficking in Jackson County. On July 20, she was charged with eight counts each of possession of a substance used to manufacture meth, and conspiracy.

The indictment was dismissed in October when the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office said it wanted more time to present additional evidence against her. She was indicted again later that month on 16 counts of possession of a substance used as a precursor to manufacture meth, one count of attempting to operate a clandestine lab and 17 counts of conspiracy to commit a felony.

That indictment was dismissed in February when the Prosecutor's Office said it wished to no longer prosecute the case. Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Dotson made the motion after Judge Thomas C. Evans III denied his motion to continue the case after Sullivan's court-appointed attorney Matthew Victor said doing so would violate her right to a speedy trial.

Records show Sullivan was released from jail on July 9 after her bond was reduced to $155,000. Before her arrest, that was the day she was scheduled to be arraigned on the charges stemming from the new indictment.

Also, Sullivan waived her July 13 preliminary hearing for the meth charges related to the July 3 arrest.

Records also show the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the investigative arm of the state Bar, opened an ethics case against Sullivan following her arrest. As of presstime, she was still listed on the State Bar's Web site as an active member, and no restrictions were placed on her ability to practice law.

Jackson Circuit Court, case number 10-F-39; Jackson Magistrate Court, case number 10-F-265-268

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