Seymour resident will serve 2 consecutive 20-year sentences for dealing meth

A Seymour woman recently received two 20-year prison terms after pleading guilty to two counts of dealing in methamphetamine.

Jackson Circuit Judge Richard W. Poynter ordered the sentences against 40-year-old Michelle Root be served consecutively. He also suspended 10 years of each sentence, placing Root on five years of supervised probation.

The sentences came from two separate investigations.

Root was arrested in late March after a traffic stop. During that stop, which also led to the arrest of James Hess of Seymour, police said they discovered more than 35 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

Both Root and Hess were initially charged with dealing in methamphetamine more than 10 grams, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance. The remaining charges against Root were dropped as part of the plea agreement.

Hess’ trial is set for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 24 in Jackson Circuit Court.

Their arrests occurred when Seymour Police Officer Jim Handley, at the request of Officer Benjamin Miller, stopped a car in the area of Tipton Street and Commerce Drive for a traffic violation.

During Miller’s investigation into the activity of the vehicle’s occupants, police reported finding more than 35 grams of crystal methamphetamine, methamphetamine paraphernalia, drug packaging material and more than $300 in cash.

Hess also face an additional preliminary charge of trafficking after an investigation at the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown. That charge was requested by county Officer Jessie Hutchinson after Hess attempted to smuggle approximately 20 grams of methamphetamine into the jail.

The second case against Root occurred when she was arrested in early February after a traffic stop in Seymour.

Police said during that stop, they found more than 17 grams of crystal methamphetamine and $3,000 in cash.

Root had initially faced charges of dealing in methamphetamine more than 10 grams and possession of methamphetamine. The possession charge against Root was dropped as part of the plea deal.

A second woman in the pickup truck also was arrested during the traffic stop. Charlotte Moore, 49, of Medora received a 180-day jail sentence earlier this month after pleading guilty to visiting a common nuisance.

The arrests were made by Handley, who reported stopping the pickup for multiple traffic violations in the area of East Harrison Drive.

Handley said during that stop, he believed the two women were involved in drug activity. His subsequent search of the truck led to the discovery of the crystal methamphetamine, paraphernalia, drug packaging material and cash.

As part of the plea agreements, Root received credit for 218 days served and 72.66 days of good time credit in one of the cases, and another 19 days credit and 6.33 days of good time credit in the second case.