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May 15, 2003

Meth dealer pleads guilty to drug and sex charges

From: McMinnville News-Register, OR - May 15, 2003

By MATTHEW D. LaPLANTE Of the News-Register

A Newberg drug dealer who used locations all around McMinnville to distribute methamphetamine has pleaded guilty to dealing drugs and using an underage girl in sexually explicit photographs.

Carson Cody Starkey Jr. appeared in court Tuesday alongside his girlfriend, Dorothy Marie Wills.

The couple pleaded to charges of attempted use of a child in sexually explicit conduct, third-degree sex abuse, distribution of a controlled substance and child neglect. Sentencing has been set for June 23.

The case stems from an eight-month investigation into the drug dealing of Starkey, described in police reports as a multistate offender whose criminal history includes arrests for theft, assault, criminal mischief, driving under the influence and throwing a deadly missile.

According to court records, Starkey caught the eye of drug enforcement officers in July, when he arrived at the McMinnville home of another reputed drug dealer during an undercover investigation.

Police purchased several hundred dollars worth of methamphetamine from him over the next few months, at sites ranging from Rogers Landing to the parking lot of his employer, Shamrock Taxi Service.

Starkey and Wills were arrested in the early morning hours of Jan. 3, following a traffic stop near Adams School. A search of Starkey's vehicle resulted in the recovery of meth, scales, packaging materials, syringes and two firearms. Also arrested were passengers Chelsey Starr and Reuben Sellers, both of McMinnville.

During a subsequent, multi-agency raid of the South River Street home Starkey shared with Wills and her two daughters, police discovered more meth and drug paraphernalia. Police also found photographs taken of Starkey, Wills and a 17-year-old girl in sexually explicit poses.

In 1998, a Yamhill County jury convicted Starkey's brother, Robert, of sexually abusing a teenage girl. He is about four years into a 12 1/2 year sentence.

In accepting the guilty pleas, Judge Robert Morgan took time to ensure that Wills was especially clear of what was going on.

Wills, who is deaf, said through a sign language interpreter that she understood what she was doing in court. "I've done these things and I'm here to plead guilty," she said.

Morgan also ensured the defendants understood the "worst case" ramifications of their pleas. Starkey faces up to 8 1/2 years in prison, Willis 3 1/2 years.

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