CLEARFIELD – Another one of the five people involved with a Houtzdale drug ring that was bringing in an estimated $1.5 million worth of drugs from Ohio pleaded guilty Monday in Clearfield County Court.
Kenneth Robert Quade, 32, whose address is listed as Chester, was arrested following a September of 2018 search warrant was served on the Houtzdale home of Sandra McQuillen, 54, who was suspected of bringing drugs from Akron, Ohio on a regular basis.
Quade, who was at the McQuillen residence, had in his possession one 8-ball of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
At that time officials found 12 ounces of methamphetamine, a quantity of marijuana, a notebook describing previous deals and over $500 in her home, according to a report.
In an interview with investigators, Quade admitted to selling meth and said his source was McQuillen. He also admitted to traveling to Ohio with McQuillen and others to get more meth.
On Monday, Quade pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and criminal conspiracy. He was sentenced by Judge Paul Cherry to 12 months to three years in state prison and five years probation.
It was noted that he is required to continue to cooperate with the commonwealth in this case.
According to grand jury testimony, McQuillen, and her fiancé, Donald Mullens, brought up to 10,000 grams of methamphetamine, cocaine and other drugs from a contact in Ohio.
Mullens was allegedly spending $10,000 for one pound of methamphetamine once or twice a week in April of 2018.
Mullen and or McQuillen reportedly traveled to Ohio on approximately 26 occasions in 2018.
After Mullens died from a drug overdose in May of 2018, McQuillen continued providing drugs to Joyce Lee Merritts, 33, and her husband, Jason Lynn Merritts, 38, who were selling them from their Clearfield apartment.
On July 26, 2018, law enforcement officers followed McQuillen and another individual to Akron where she met with James Thomas. She purchased meth and other drugs for $3,800, according to the report.
She was followed back to Clearfield County, at which time investigators executed a search warrant on her vehicle.
Officers reportedly found one-third of a pound of methamphetamine, crack cocaine, marijuana and pills suspected to be prescription medications in the vehicle.
From her home, police allegedly seized $10,000, drug paraphernalia and multiple phones.
A search warrant executed at Thomas’ residence the same day uncovered four ounces of meth, almost 200 grams of cocaine/crack and marijuana.
In the barber shop where he worked, police found two pounds of meth, over four ounces of cocaine and almost three pounds of marijuana.
The grand jury learned that Thomas admitted he met with McQuillen on the day she was stopped by police through prison telephone calls.
He further admitted that he should have stopped “doing things” with McQuillen after Mullens died.
In July, Joyce Merritts pleaded guilty and was placed in the state intermediate punishment program for a period of two years, which will be followed by eight years of probation.
In February, Jason Merritts pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 3½ years to seven years in state prison followed by 10 years consecutive probation by Cherry.
McQuillen has also signed a plea agreement on several drug charges but her sentencing scheduled in September has been continued with no new date set.
Thomas is charged with 12 counts of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, criminal conspiracy, criminal use of communication facility, dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities and knowledge that property is proceeds of illegal act, all felonies.
His case is listed as inactive in online court documents.