Female heroin trafficker gets probation

Staff report


A 27-year-old Connecticut Avenue woman who pleaded guilty to heroin possession and trafficking has been sentenced to three years’ probation.

Shauna Lee Barber drew the sentence Wednesday from Judge James C. Evans of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, who warned her that she could be imprisoned for up to six years if she violates terms of her probation.

Barber, who apologized in court for her actions, is one of six people purported to have participated in a heroin-distribution ring based on the city’s West Side between December 2011 and November 2012.

Barber, who tested the drugs for their purity, appears to have been “used as a pawn” in the drug ring, said Martin P. Desmond, an assistant county prosecutor.

Four men also have pleaded guilty and been sentenced in this case, one to 41/2 years in prison, two to four years in prison and one to a year’s probation.

The purported ringleader, John Skarada, 38, of Connecticut Avenue, awaits an Oct. 27 jury trial and faces at least 11 years in prison if he’s convicted of all counts.

Skarada and Barber were apprehended in a traffic stop in Trumbull County as they were returning here from Detroit with several hundred grams of heroin, Desmond said. There are 28 grams in an ounce.

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