Hazel Thomas (mug shot SCSO)

The preliminary hearing for an alleged elderly drug dealer charged with distribution of a controlled substance is scheduled to be heard on December 18th.

Stone County prosecutor Matt Selby says Hazel Beatrice Thomas, 69, of Galena, allegedly accepted stolen and forged checks for payment of Morphine, Xanax, Soma, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone that weren't prescribed to her.

According to the probable cause statement, Jason Payne stole 29 checks from his mother and stepfather between April and May of 2012 and wrote them for a total of over $5,000 to Thomas for payment of drugs.

Payne told investigators that Thomas had "been calling and threatening him because she claims he owes her $5,000" for a drug debt.

On June 27th Stone County deputies and members of the COMET drug task force served a search warrant at Thomas' house at 520 W. 4th Street and seized the prescription drugs, marijuana and a total of $8,296 in cash. Also seized were checks written on Payne's mother's account.

Thomas is also facing charges of fraudulent use of a credit/debit device allegedly admitted to selling prescription medication and accepting the stolen checks as payment from Payne.

There were several unhappy victims in the courtroom when it was announced that Thomas' preliminary hearing was rescheduled to the December setting.