Prosecutors say Lola Sells sold methamphetamine to a woman who ingested the baggie during a traffic stop and then died.
(Franklin County, Ind.) - A Franklin County judge has ordered a woman to serve 20 years in prison for her role in a deadly drug deal.
Lola Sells, 52, sold seven grams of meth to 24-year-old Felicia Craig from Sells’ home in Morris on August 25, 2014. Craig was acting as a courier, attempting to transport the meth to her boyfriend in Rushville when she was pulled over by a state trooper on Interstate 74.
Fearing she would be caught, Craig ingested the bag of meth to hide it. It worked as the trooper allowed her to drive off. However, she pulled over at the next exit at New Point and died a short time later. The baggie had ruptured after she swallowed it, leading to her fatal drug overdose.
Charges were filed against Sells after a months-long investigation by Indiana State Police.
She was originally scheduled to go to trial back in July 2016, but failed to appear in court on the day the it was to commence. Sells was a fugitive until she was arrested in Indianapolis on new charges in late 2017, and remained in jail there until she was brought back to Franklin County to face these charges.
Sells’ case went to a jury trial in August. After two days in court, she was convicted of Dealing in Methamphetamine (level 3 felony) and Conspiracy to Deal in Methamphetamine (level 3 felony).
Last Wednesday, Sells was back in Franklin County Circuit Court where Judge J. Steven Cox sentenced her to 20 years behind bars. With no time suspended to probation, it was the maximum sentence possible.
Franklin County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Chris Huerkamp said because the crime happened four years ago, it is no subject to a new Indiana law allowing drug dealers to be charged with a more serious level 1 felony in cases where a person fatally overdoses.
“Today’s sentencing was the conclusion of over four years of hard work and dedication by these officers and their efforts should be highly praised. To uncover a conspiracy like this out of an overdose report took an incredible amount of skill and persistence on their part. I hope that Ms. Craig’s family is able to find some closure now that this case has been concluded,” Huerkamp said.
Sells was allegedly part of a network of people who conspired to transport methamphetamine from Georgia to Franklin County.