Two John Day residents who were busted twice in less than a year on methamphetamine-related charges are heading to prison.

Olle L. Starnes, 49, and Elizabeth C. Pace, 41, both pleaded guilty to numerous felony charges April 10 and were sentenced April 25.

The first bust took down 10 people on April 28, 2018. The warrants served at two properties in Mt. Vernon and John Day were the culmination of an ongoing investigation of a covert drug operation that had lasted more than a year, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

“During the searches, methamphetamine, money, drug paraphernalia, stolen firearms and vehicles were among some of the things seized at the residences,” the sheriff’s office said at the time.

The state alleged at the time that the home where Starnes and Pace lived on Highway 26 west of John Day was subject to criminal forfeiture.

Starnes was charged with 11 drug-related counts, including seven felonies, in that first arrest. Pace was charged with eight drug-related counts, including three felonies.

Local law enforcement agencies arrested Starnes, Pace and a third person on March 11 following undercover operations by the Grant County Interagency Narcotics Team.

According to court documents, Starnes pleaded guilty April 10 to six felony charges, including two counts each of delivery of meth, unlawful possession of meth and delivery of meth within 1,000 feet of a school.

The crimes were committed in February and March. Four additional counts were dismissed, and criminal forfeiture was ruled allowed.

Circuit Court Judge William D. Cramer Jr. sentenced Starnes to a total of 132 months in prison with a net time of 45 months, along with three years post-prison supervision and $1,950 in fees and fines. His driver’s license was suspended for six months.

Pace pleaded guilty to four felony counts, including delivery of meth, delivery of meth within 1,000 feet of a school and two counts of unlawful possession of meth.

The crimes were committed in February. Seven additional counts were dismissed, and criminal forfeiture was ruled allowed.

Cramer sentenced Pace to a total of 42 months in prison with a net time of 24 months, along with three years post-prison supervision and $1,800 in fines and fees. Her driver’s license was also suspended for six months.

Richard Hanners is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. He can be contacted at rick@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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