The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

December 21, 2013

Judge: Smuggling pills into jail ‘crosses the line’

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

MERCER COUNTY — Ashley Mazzo hoped to be sentenced to Mercer County Jail.

“I know I messed up,” she said Friday, facing the music on three charges. “I would only hope that you give me the chance to show that I can do good.”

With her father having passed away in January – her mom died some years ago – the Jackson Township woman needs to be around to take care of her brother, who is unable to care for himself, said defense attorney Randall T. Hetrick.

But, Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas R. Dobson said passing pills around the jail was too much.

“This is a state penitentiary case,” Dobson told her Friday. “There is a line you can’t cross and you crossed it. There’s no going back on this.”

Dobson sentenced Mazzo to 2 to 5è years in prison. She pleaded guilty Oct. 15 to possession of contraband by an inmate for smuggling Subtex pills in her vagina April 16 into the jail and giving some to other jail inmates; solicitation to commit delivery of Subutex for trying to get a friend and her brother April 27 and 29 to stash the drug in the bathroom at District Court in Farrell, where she had a preliminary hearing; and misdemeanor retail theft for stealing three items April 18 from Walmart, 1275 N. Hermitage Road, Hermitage, and returning two of them to the store for a gift card.

Mazzo, 25, of 949 Franklin Road, has been addicted to pills for seven years and her 10 previous convictions are drug-related, said Hetrick, adding that she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. She had gotten off the pills, but relapsed when her father died, he said.

“I don’t even know what I was doing at the time,” Mazzo said of the time period of her crimes.

Dobson gave Mazzo credit for 215 days on the contraband charge, 16 on the retail theft and 233 on the solicitation charge. He added that she is eligible for a state good-time program, and could get out in as early as 1è years.

He also ordered her to pay $90 restitution to Walmart.