Ellwood City woman headed to prison for multiple offenses

Taylor Renee Foley

An Ellwood City woman faces up to 12 years in prison for a dozen nonviolent offenses over the past two years, including an overdose on contraband drugs inside the county jail.

A slew of offenses against 24-year-old Taylor Renee Foley, including drug dealing and possession, running from the police, impaired driving, illegal possession of a firearm, and harboring a dangerous dog, were resolved Sept. 3 with a plea agreement and sentencing in Lawrence County court.

Lawrence County Common Pleas President Judge Dominick Motto ordered Foley to serve 8 to 12 years in state prison.

The sentence resulted from an accumulation of charges since 2018.

Under the plea agreement, Foley was convicted of nine charges in 12 of the cases, and all other charges were dropped.

Her most recent charges, filed in January by the Lawrence County District Attorney’s Office, stemmed from hiding a bag of heroin and fentanyl inside a body cavity, while in the Lawrence County jail last October, according to a criminal complaint.

The bag leaked, causing her to overdose twice — once inside the Lawrence County jail and later that day at a local hospital.

She reportedly fell unconscious in the jail and was revived with naloxone. After she refused to allow jail or hospital staff to retrieve the bag, she overdosed again. Once again, naloxone revived her.

The investigation concluded Foley had offered the drugs to her attorney as payment, according to court papers.

Authorities finally retrieved the bag of heroin and fentanyl when it dropped from her pant leg.

Foley pleaded guilty in the overdose case to one count of contraband/furnishing controlled substances to inmates.

She also pleaded guilty or no contest to charges in the other cases, including illegal possession of a firearm, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, fleeing from police, and harboring a dangerous dog.

Foley will receive credit for jail time served. Now in the Mercer County Jail, she awaits transfer to a state institution.

She was represented in court by private counsel, David Earl Wenger III of Hermitage. Kara Kotter, senior deputy attorney general of the Drug Strike Force Section, prosecuted the case.


Correction: A previous version of this story misstated the number of charges Foley was convicted of. 


Debbie's been a journalist at the New Castle News since 1978, and covers county government, police and fire, New Castle schools, environment and various other realms. She also writes features, takes photos and video and copy edits.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.