|Hazel Thomas (mug shot SCSO)|
A 69 year-old woman from Galena who was charged with distribution of a controlled substance last year recently entered an Alford plea and was placed on probation.
Stone County prosecutor Matt Selby says Hazel Beatrice Thomas accepted stolen and forged checks as payment for 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.
When Stone County deputies and members of the COMET drug task force served a search warrant at Thomas' house at 520 W. 4th Street they seized prescription drugs, marijuana and a total of $8,296 in cash. They also found other checks written on Payne's mother's account.
Thomas was sentenced to ten years in prison and ordered to pay $3,600 in restitution. However, that sentence was suspended and she was placed on five years probation.
The elderly drug dealer is subject to random drug testing and searches of her property while she is on probation.