Woman Accused Of Dealing Meth In Valley Pleads Guilty
Co-Defendant’s Hearing Now Scheduled For Feb. 13
Posted: February 1, 2013
HARRISONBURG — A woman accused of selling methamphetamine in the Shenandoah Valley pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Harrisonburg.
Sheila Payan, age and address unknown, pleaded guilty to felony conspiring to distribute 50 to 499 grams or more of methamphetamine. She originally was charged with conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Urbanski scheduled sentencing for May 29. She faces up to life in prison.
Payan is a co-defendant in the case against Jose Payan, 31, of Stanley. It’s unclear how or if she’s related to the other defendant or what role she played in the case. A statement of facts against her has been sealed by court order.
The case against Jose Payan began in spring 2011 while he was living near Woodstock, according to court records. He is charged with conspiring to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.
In March 2011, prosecutors say, an informant told an investigator with the Northwest Virginia Regional Task Force there was a man, later identified as Jose Payan, selling the drug out of his home.
Four months later, a second informant told the investigator that a man named Jose was selling “large quantities” of meth out of his home on Lupton Road in Shenandoah County, court records say.
Jose Payan later moved to Page County and continued his operation, according to prosecutors.
In September 2011, a third informant identified the drug source as Jose Payan. In all, prosecutors say, the informant bought 12 ounces of meth at $1,600 an ounce.
On March 25, the drug task force raided Jose Payan’s Page County home, seizing meth and drug paraphernalia. Jose Payan was arrested in June after federal prosecutors filed a complaint against him.
Sheila Payan is free on bond pending sentencing.
Jose Payan, who is being held without bond, was scheduled to go to trial Monday but it was canceled. He is now scheduled for a change-of-plea hearing for Feb. 13.
Contact Pete DeLea at 574-6278 or email@example.com