Two people pleaded guilty Thursday in LaRue Circuit Court to multiple drug charges and perjury.
James Alex Clifford, 24, of Hodgenville, and Tiffany B. Underwood, 24, of Mount Sherman, were to be tried Monday on the charges but opted for a plea agreement instead.
If the plea agreement is adhered to in final sentencing in November, they will serve seven years in prison.
Underwood and Clifford, accompanied by their attorneys James Maples and Landon Tingle, pleaded guilty to one count each of complicity, first-degree trafficking in controlled substance, heroin (less than two grams); complicity, first-degree possession of controlled substance, heroin; complicity, possession of controlled substance, all felonies; and complicity, possession of drug paraphernalia; and complicity, possession of marijuana, both misdemeanors.
They pleaded guilty on an additional charge of perjury. They admitted lying about the case in a suppression hearing after their arrest.
The original trafficking charges were Class C felonies that could have resulted in five-to-10 years imprisonment. The charges were amended to Class D felonies which could result in one-to-five years imprisonment.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Whitney Meredith said the charges were amended because less than two grams of heroin was found at the couple’s residence which lessened the severity of the charge under new state law.
“That’s why they got the maximum on the D felony,” she said.
Recommended sentence on each charge is five years for trafficking; three years on possession of controlled substance; six months for possession of drug paraphernalia; and 45 days for possession of marijuana.
Recommended sentence on the perjury charge is two years to run consecutively with the other case for a total of seven years.
The case was investigated by LaRue County Deputy Eric Williamson.
Williamson and Constable Tim Ford searched the Greensburg Street residence on Dec. 19 after receiving a tip about illegal drug activity.
Williamson said they found a small amount of powder that field tested as heroin, “all items” used to inject the substance and several packages of “bindles,” small envelopes made from the corner of a magazine page.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes heroin as a highly-addictive opiate. It is extracted from the seed pod of the Asian opium poppy. It may be injected, snorted, sniffed or smoked.
The perjury charge was levied after Clifford and Underwood testified they had not consented to the search and accused Williamson of threatening them.
Williamson was wearing a video camera during the search and arrest that recorded the events.
LaRue Circuit Judge Charles Simms III said a pre-sentencing investigation and interview would be held befor final sentencing on Nov. 5.