Upshur County jury sentences meth dealer to 70 years in prison

Woman had 13 previous convictions on her record dating back 1997

Upshur County jury sentences meth dealer to 70 years in prison
An Upshur County jury sentenced Suzanne Johnston to 70 years in prison. (Source: Upshur County DA's Office)

GILMER, TX (KLTV) - An Upshur County jury sentenced a woman who has 13 previous convictions on her record to 70 years in prison after they found her guilty of engaging in organized crime for conspiring with two other people to traffic methamphetamine.

According to a post on the Upshur County Criminal District Attorney’s Office Facebook page, the trial for Suzanne Johnston, 51, was held in the 115th Judicial District Court. The jury was selected on Monday.

“Prison has previously done nothing to stop Suzanne Johnston,” Upshur County District Attorney Billy Byrd said in the post. “Attempts by the court to rehabilitate her had not worked. Every previous attempt to change her criminal ways has fallen short.”

The Facebook post stated that Johnston has 13 previous convictions on her record - 12 state convictions and one federal conviction. Six of those were felony crimes that resulted in prison sentences.

Johnson, her boyfriend Hardy Weeks, who is now deceased, and Shaun weeks were all charged with engaging in organized criminal activity. Shaun Weeks is currently in custody and awaiting trial in federal court.

The Facebook post gave details about Johnston’s crime. The post said that a criminal informant working with the Gilmer Police Department agreed to buy meth from a house on Old Coffeeville Road.

“The CI was wired with an undercover camera and went to Hardy Weeks’ house to buy an ‘8 ball,’ which is approximately 3.5 grams of methamphetamine,” the Facebook post stated. “Upon entrance, the CI sees Suzanne Johnston smoking meth and then Hardy Weeks states they had been trying to reach the CI by phone so they could sell meth to him.”

In the video, Shaun Weeks appears with a bag of meth, and Johnston pulls out digital scales to weigh the drug and assist in the delivery of the “8 ball,” the Facebook post stated.

Later in the video, the criminal informant asks if he could buy another “8 ball” later that day, the Facebook post stated. Although Shaun Weeks said no, Johnston allegedly told the CI that she had more meth to sell, and she would be glad to sell him more.

“Evidence presented to the jury supported that there was an ongoing agreement and understanding to sale methamphetamine from this location,” the Facebook post stated. “There was also evidence presented that Suzanne Johnston, while a party to this offense and helping to sell the ‘8 ball’ to the informant, had also sold meth numerous times and made multiple deliveries of methamphetamine.”

The post went on to thank the Gilmer Police Department, Chief Mark Case, and Investigator Casey Driggers.

“I believe this jury rendered punishment not only against the crime of Engaging in Organized Crime for the Distribution of Methamphetamine for Profit but also the actor,” Byrd said in the Facebook post. “This defendant has had every chance to be a law-abiding citizen and change her behavior. Her choices over the span of two decades resulted in this strong consequence which should stand as a reminder for all citizens in Upshur County that drug dealing will be punished strongly.”

According to the Upshur County DA’s Office, Johnston’s convictions date back to 1997. She has been convicted for possession of marijuana, driving while intoxicated, assault-family violence, forgery, theft, possession of stolen mail, and possession of a controlled substance. She was convicted multiple times on several of the charges.

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