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Grand Jury

LISBON — A woman accused of multiple drug charges who made false claims of displacement to secure reimbursement from Norfolk Southern over the East Palestine train derailment last year entered a guilty plea.

Joey-Lynn Corfee, 35, Rose Drive, Lisbon, pleaded guilty in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court to a lesser-included offense of third-degree felony aggravated possession of drugs (originally a second-degree felony), third-degree felony possession of fentanyl-related compound, and fifth degree felonies of theft, possession of cocaine and aggravated possession of drugs. A misdemeanor possession of drugs charge will be dismissed.

Corfee will face sentencing on Sept. 16. According to the felony plea agreement, the prosecution will be recommending a sentence of up to 36 months in prison.

According to an affidavit filed in county Municipal Court, Corfee was accused of stealing $7,090 from Norfolk Southern from March 10 through March 13, 2023 when she told officials at the Norfolk Southern assistance center that she lived on Leake Street in East Palestine. She received $3,000 on Feb. 10 and $2,090 for furniture she purchased. The affidavit alleged that she provided a fake rental agreement with a fictitious landlord for the property and an altered Ohio Edison electric bill as proof of residency.

For the drug charges, Corfee possessed methamphetamine in an amount equal or greater than bulk but less than five times bulk during a traffic stop in Columbiana on May 18, 2023. She also possessed fentanyl in an amount equal or greater than 5 grams but less than 10 grams, cocaine and tramadol. She possessed methamphetamine on May 4.

Also in Common Pleas Court:

— Alan T. James, 46, Irondale, was sentenced to nine months in prison for two fourth-degree felony assault charges, and misdemeanors of using weapons while intoxicated and resisting arrest. A charge of obstructing official business was dismissed. He received credit for 14 days already served in jail. James was seen standing next to a truck and trailer with a shotgun laying on the tailgate on April 26, 2023 on state Route 39, Wellsville. He wouldn’t give his name when approached by sheriff’s deputies and resisted when a deputy attempted to check him for weapons, ignoring multiple commands to stop reaching in his pockets and put his hands behind his back. Once handcuffed, he kicked a deputy multiple times and trapped another deputy’s arm in between his.

— Matthew Ward, 36, Michigan Avenue, East Liverpool, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with credit for 362 days already served in jail, for violating his probation for resisting arrest and third-degree felony domestic violence. His participation in drug court was dishonorably terminated. The charges stemmed from a Nov. 29, 2022 incident in East Liverpool for assaulting a man.

— Charles Ripley, 42, last known address St. Clair Avenue, East Liverpool, was sentenced to 17 months in prison, with credit for 418 days previously served in jail, after violating his probation for fourth-degree felony domestic violence and misdemeanor aggravated menacing. His probation was dishonorably terminated. The charges stemmed from an incident at an apartment in East Liverpool on April 29, 2023 when Ripley caused harm to a woman and broke items, with two or more previous convictions of domestic violence on his record. During booking, he allegedly threatened to assault a police officer.

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