Jay woman pleads guilty to selling marijuana near park

Posted March 04, 2013, at 2:22 p.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — A Jay woman pleaded guilty Monday to selling marijuana out of her residence on Church Street in September 2012.

Cindy Mitchell, 53, pleaded in Franklin County Superior Court to a felony charge of aggravated trafficking in Schedule Z drugs — marijuana. Mitchell also admitted to criminal forfeiture.

The charge was elevated because a playground is located 211 feet from Mitchell’s residence. Church Street Park is designated as a drug-free safe zone. Any illegal drug activity within 1,000 feet of the park elevates the charge.

If the matter went to trial, Assistant District Attorney James Andrews said that Jay police Detective Richard Caton would have testified that police received information during the fall of 2012 from several sources that Mitchell was selling marijuana out of her home.

Caton would testify that he set up surveillance and saw a person entering and leaving the residence, Andrews said. Caton suspected the person bought marijuana. A second Jay officer, Mike Mejia, stopped that individual, and the person indicated that marijuana was purchased from Mitchell, Andrews said.

Testimony also would show that Caton and fellow officers went to Mitchell’s home and she let them search the residence. Caton would testify that he found a large number of hand-packaged bags containing 1 ounce each of marijuana and scales among other items, Andrews said.

Justice Michaela Murphy accepted a deferred disposition agreement that if Mitchell follows all aspects of it within the 12-month period, she can withdraw the plea to the felony.

She then would plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, Murphy said.

If Mitchell is not successful, Murphy told her that she pleaded guilty to a felony charge that carries up to a five-year sentence. She is scheduled to return to court on March 14, 2014.

Among the conditions she must adhere to: refrain from using illegal drugs, undergo drug counseling and submit to random searches.

Caton said that police seized more than 6 ounces of marijuana from the residence last year. They also seized about $2,900 in cash.

By Mitchell’s admission to criminal forfeiture, she gave up the right to the money seized.

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