A Morristown crystal-meth dealer implicated by seven unfaithful associates indicated Friday she’ll plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute more than 50 grams of meth and accept responsibility for trafficking between 500 grams and 1.5 kilos, which could mean a quantity-related enhancement above the 10-year minimum-mandatory, according to court documents.
The potential witnesses lined up to testify against Ashley Drew “Jonse” Jones included four unindicted co-conspirators and three so-called confidential sources of information, according to her plea agreement.
The four unindicted co-conspirators agreed to cooperate after they were caught with meth a short time after leaving Jones apartment near the intersection of McFarland and West Seventh North streets. One confidential source reported that he or she had seen a half-pound of meth at Jones’ residence, according to the plea agreement. Jones spent more than a month on the run before she was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service at a residence in Strawberry Plains in January.
In an unrelated crystal-meth prosecution, Maria Luis Mariscal, an alleged courier from California who was arrested in Texas while en route to Cocke County, hasn’t pleaded guilty, but U.S. District Judge Pamela L. Reeves on Friday appeared to remove any theory of defense Mariscal could raise.
Reeves concluded that a Texas trooper had reasonable suspicion to detain Mariscal, and that she clearly gave permission to search her vehicle. Authorities found 27 pounds of crystal meth in the panels of her vehicle, a haul that had an estimated street value of $1.4 million, according to Chuck D. Evans, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent.
“Mariscal made a statement to law enforcement in which she confessed that she was delivering the methamphetamine to an address of 815 Seabrook Street, Newport, Tennessee,” the criminal complaint drafted by Evans states.
The address is well-known to Newport authorities because they’ve purchased meth there within the past six months, according to the DEA agent.