Two Keizer women facing federal drug charges

A Keizer mother and daughter are facing charges involving their alleged participation in an India-based illegal drug distribution ring.

Jennifer McConnon, 48, was arraigned in federal court Friday, July 29. She pled not guilty in her hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Armistead, and was released pending a five-day jury trial scheduled to begin Sep. 13. Her daughter, Sydney Sleight, 22, will be arraigned next, however a date has not yet been scheduled.

The pair are facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison if they are convicted.

The alleged crimes involve the possession with intent to distribute hundreds of thousands of illegal prescription pain pills, including Tapentadol, Lorazepam, Aprazolam, Clonazepam, Diazepam, Carisoprodol, Ketamine, and Tramadolin. Tapentadol is a highly-addictive pain medication, but all eight carry a risk of addiction and overdose.

A third individual identified by the court as John Doe, a.k.a. “Bunny Jinn,” has already been indicted as the leader of the drug distribution ring. Jinn would allegedly export packages from India to McConnon and Sleight, who would distribute them all over Oregon and the U.S. after receiving them.

The Keizer pair maintained a residence in the city which they allegedly used as a distribution hub, receiving more than 275 drug parcels through their mailbox, and then were compensated through encrypted phone apps.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Salem Police Dept. Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott M. Kerin is prosecuting the case.