Woman’s plea for parole rejected

8-month prison term imposed in drug case

LISBON — A woman who said she has been clean for the past two years for the first time in 20 years was sentenced Monday in Common Pleas Court to eight months in prison for three drug-related cases from before her sobriety.

Cristal S. Adams, 45, formerly of Lincoln Street, East Liverpool, was facing four counts of possession of drugs in one case, three counts of possession of drugs in another case and two charges from the Operation Big Oak indictment for trafficking in heroin and aggravated trafficking in drugs, the only fourth-degree felony charge. The rest were fifth-degree felonies.

Assistant County Prosecutor Ryan Weikart and two prosecutors from the Ohio Attorney General’s office, Margaret Tomaro and Micah Ault, told Judge Megan Bickerton they were willing to merge the charges together for a recommended eight-month prison recommendation with no position toward Adams’ request for community control.

Defense attorney Kelly Linger talked about the metal health problems Adams has had from her past, watching her own mother commit suicide while only 6 years old and spending most of her life dealing with that through drug use. Linger said since Adams’ two overdoses, which were connected to two of the three cases against her, she has gone to counseling to deal with her underlying mental health and addiction issues, gotten clean, gotten married, works on a farm and has re-established her relationships with her family.

Adams said the overdose she suffered in 2017 and the photo someone sent her while she was being resuscitated saved her life. It convinced her she wanted to be there for her children and grandchildren, instead of leaving them without a mother as she grew up. She is living out of the area, giving her a chance to be away from the people and the lifestyle that had fueled her drug use.

“She has done everything we could ask someone in that position,” Linger said of Adams.

Bickerton congratulated Adams on her sobriety, adding she is lucky to be standing there because if someone had not been available to administer the suboxone to revive her, she would not be. Bickerton agreed there always will be a struggle for Adams to overcome the addiction.

However, Bickerton also said there are consequences needed to help her be accountable for what she has done, which included building up three drug-related cases.

After she was sentenced to eight months in prison with credit for three days served in each case, Adams requested a chance to self report to the jail. She said her family needs her to get through a recent tragedy and she feels they just got her back after being lost to them through the drug lifestyle for 20 years. Bickerton denied the request.

Adams’ charges involved a syringe containing heroin, fentanyl and cocaine on Nov. 5, 2016; cocaine in her vehicle when she overdosed in front of the Glenmoor Fire Department on June 30, 2017; and cocaine, heroin and carfentanil inside her purse when she was found unresponsive on July 17, 2017.

Finally, the Operation Big Oak charges involved her assisting others in the sale of heroin, fentanyl and acryl fentanyl on Feb. 23, 2017.