No Judicial Diversion for Drug Dealer Laurie Pelot Gooch
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Dear Knox County Judge Steven Sword,
We the undersigned respectfully request that you decline to offer any type of judicial diversion to drug dealer Laurie Pelot Gooch, instead making sure that she is subject to the mandatory sentencing minimums established by legislators to protect our community from dangerous drug dealers such as Ms. Pelot Gooch. While the case before you now may mark the first time Ms. Pelot Gooch has ever actually been arrested, she leaves a long trail of drug-related wreckage in her wake. As a mother, she did not protect her own children from her drug abuse and dealing, and as the longtime employee in a dental practice, she compromised the safety and health of the patients who entrusted their health to that dental office. Ms. Pelot Gooch admits that she failed to act when she knew that a local teenager was suffering a fatal drug overdose inside the home of her own drug dealers - two criminals to whom she herself exposed this young man and her own teenage daughter. Yet even after Henry Granju's death, Ms. Pelot Gooch continued dealing drugs, culminating in her arrest after she sold diverted pain medication to a brave law enforcement informant who was himself not yet even old enough to legally buy alcohol. Ms. Pelot Gooch clearly had no qualms whatsoever in dealing drugs to young people, right out of the home she shared with her own teenage children. Our community is in the midst of an exploding epidemic of drug abuse and overdose. We cannot allow dangerous drug dealers such as Laurie Pelot Gooch to go free via judicial diversion if we are to credibly reinforce the message that drug dealing means jail time. We ask that you hold Laurie Pelot Gooch fully accountable for the crimes for which she was arrested and indicted, and that you sentence her according to the intent of the legislative mandates that reflect this community's zero tolerance position regarding peddling these drugs of death. Thank you for your consideration of our request.