Youngwood woman gets up to 42 months for dealing heroin from ICU bed
A Youngwood woman will serve up to 42 months in prison for selling heroin from her hospital bed this year.
Lori Sullenberger, 37, pleaded guilty Thursday to four charges of selling and possessing drugs while she was an intensive care patient April 18 in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital in Greensburg.
Police said Sullenberger sold the drugs to customers who visited her room and used a syringe to infuse heroin into her intravenous line during her hospital stay.
“It’s just bizarre behavior that cannot be condoned in this county,” said Assistant District Attorney Chuck Washburn.
According to Westmoreland County court records, hospital officials put Sullenberger under surveillance when they spotted numerous people going into and out of her room.
One visitor who was questioned didn’t know Sullenberger’s last name, authorities said.
Police eventually searched Sullenberger’s room and found in her purse 342 stamp bags of heroin labeled “Bingo,” two syringes, $1,420 and multiple cellphones. Authorities said the heroin had a street value of about $3,800.
Sullenberger made no comments during her brief plea hearing.
Westmoreland County Judge Debra Pezze sentenced Sullenberger to serve 21 to 42 months in jail and ordered that she not be paroled until she completes drug treatment.
Pezze said Sullenberger could have received a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
“You have acknowledged responsibility and spared the commonwealth the expense of a trial,” Pezze said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or [email protected].