The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

July 10, 2014

4 years in jail for meth lab

— DANVILLE — A Derry Township woman, sentenced to a minimum of four years in jail for operating a methamphetamine lab in her home, said getting arrested was probably the best thing that happened to her.

“I was in a very bad place in my life. If not for that, I probably wouldn’t be here today. I was using meth from the time I got up in the morning and until if I went to sleep,” Allison Marie Swisher, 49, of 107 Mexico Road, told Montour County Judge Gary Norton on Wednesday.

Swisher previously pleaded guilty to the charges filed July 22, 2013. after police raided her home and to conspiracy from Jan. 8, 2013.

Swisher, who was sentenced to up to eight years in jail, was given credit for 353 days already served in prison.

For criminal conspiracy for delivering a controlled substance with Joshua Kressler, she was sentenced to pay a $500 fine and to serve nine months to 18 months in state prison. Swisher has been in jail since her arrest in July 2013.

For manufacture and delivery of a controlled substance, she was fined $500 and ordered to serve a consecutive term of nine months to 18 months. For possessing methamphetamine precursors, including red phosphorous, she was fined $500 and to serve a consecutive two years to four years in jail.

For operating a meth lab, she was fined $500 and ordered to serve a concurrent jail term of one to two yeas. Norton sentenced her to pay a $500 fine and to serve a consecutive term of six months to one year in jail for risking a catastrophe.

Swisher told the judge she got into a series of unfortunate mistakes after her marriage broke up. “One night I went out for a drink after a knitting circle. Then it was two nights a week,” said Swisher who added it eventually became every night at a bar.

She said she started using drugs daily after being assaulted in April 2011. She said she didn’t know what made her decide to do so, adding she had been sober for 20 years.

“I can do sobriety. I think I needed some numbing,” she said.

“I am where I need to be,” she said.

She begged the judge for mercy and for the minimum sentence imposed. “My father is my best friend and he’s 85 yeas old. The worst fear I have is he won’t be here,” she said, sobbing.

“You suffer the consequences for your conduct,” the judge told her.

Swisher said she has a 22-year-old daughter who hasn’t spoken to her since 2010. “I’m in another prison with that,” said Swisher, represented by attorney David Noon.

During the raid, police found chemicals, precursors and items commonly found and used in the production of meth. Police said Swisher admitted to cooking meth earlier that evening. Police said some finished product was found on a dresser in Swisher’s bedroom.

An undercover agent drove a confidential informant to Swisher’s house. The informant told police there was a cooler with a zipped top containing items related to making meth. The informant told undercover officers he saw Swisher mixing chemicals and drying meth in the oven.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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