BANGOR, Maine — A Canadian woman was sentenced Monday to six months in federal prison for attempting to smuggle 10 oxycodone pills across the U.S. border a year ago. She also was ordered to turn herself over to immigration authorities when she gets out.
Kelly Olsson, 33, of St. Stephen, New Brunswick, was composed until court ended and she had to say goodbye to her mother, sister and husband, Ivan Cabrera, who sat behind her in the courtroom in U.S. District Court.
“Just take care of my babies,” she told her husband.
“Sorry, Mum,” she said when her mother hugged her. “Tell Dad I’m sorry.”
Olsson, who was wearing a stripped sweater hoodie, was then handcuffed by U.S. marshals and escorted out of the courtroom.
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock sentenced her to the prison time and three years of supervised released. He said the sentence should send a strong message to drug dealers in Washington County that even smuggling a few pills over the border will get people in serious trouble.
Olsson was arrested Feb. 23, 2010, when she attempted to walk into the United States through the Calais port of entry with the diverted prescription pills. She admitted to police that she had smuggled a small amount of pills into the U.S. three or four times before getting caught.
Because the crime is considered an aggravated felony, “she will not only be deported from the United States, but she will not be able to return,” Woodcock said.
Her husband, who also is a convicted felon, is barred from entering Canada. The couple, who married in the last year, have two young children.
“As so often is the case in these type of situations, it is the children who get caught in the middle,” Woodcock said.
“She’s not Public Enemy No. 1,” Joel Casey, assistant U.S. attorney for Maine, said before Woodcock imposed his sentence. But “we do believe a message needs to be sent to the public at large.”
The government asked for a sentence of 10 months.