Maximum Sentence For Meth Operation Ringleader

Posted On August 20, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

Sam J. Spicer II Dearborn County Sheriff's Dept.

Sam J. Spicer II
Dearborn County Sheriff’s Dept.

(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – A Rising Sun man who was one of the main cogs in a tri-state meth manufacturing ring has been sentenced.

Back in February, Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit detectives charged about two dozen people for their roles in the operation. The so-called ringleader was Sam Spicer, who would allegedly pay many of those other suspects to purchase pseudoephedrine from pharmacies in Lawrenceburg and Aurora.

Spicer and Lisa Ellis would then take the cold medicine to a farm near Oxford, Ohio, where it would be manufactured into meth.

The 41-year-old pleaded guilty in April to a charge of Dealing in a Narcotic Drug (Class A felony). Remaining charges against him were dismissed. Regardless, Dearborn Circuit Court Judge James D. Humphrey ordered Spicer on August 14 to serve 40 years in prison with zero time suspended to probation. Good time of 362 days was credited to Spicer’s sentence.

“The defendant took advantage of certain participants, many of which were mentally challenged and struggled with addiction themselves, to help him in this manufacturing scheme,” Humphrey wrote in the sentencing order. “These individuals purchased large amounts of pseudoephedrine which the defendant then used in the manufacture of methamphetamine in operations in Ohio and Kentucky.”

Spicer had tried to claim that his involvement in the meth cooking operation was as a weight loss strategy.

“The court finds this explanation to be ludicrous and unbelievable,” Humphrey stated.

In giving Spicer the maximum sentence, the judge also considered Spicer’s significant criminal history dating back to 2003, his lack of remorse and continued denial of significant involvement, and failure to seek help for drug abuse.

Spicer’s attorney attempted to persuade the judge that imprisonment would result in undue hardship on his mother and children. While noting the hardship, Humphrey pointed to the fact that Spicer’s mother has been the primary caregiver of the children almost since their birth.

“The court would also like to commend Joyce Spicer, the defendant’s mother, for her concern and her willingness to care for these children in their father’s absence,” Humphrey said.

Two other significant players in the meth ring have already been sentenced. Lisa Ellis, 34, also of Rising Sun, was ordered to serve 20 years with 10 in prison in April after pleading guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Methamphetamine (Class B felony). She also agreed to testify at court proceedings of other suspects, including Spicer.

Terry Woodruff, of Lawrenceburg, was among those who agreed to purchase pseudoephedrine for Ellis and Spicer. He is serving three years with one year in prison.


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