Jay woman pleads guilty to selling marijuana at home

Posted March 05, 2013, at 6:13 a.m.

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

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

The charge was elevated due to Church Street Park, where a playground is 211 feet from Mitchell’s home. The park is designated as a drug-free zone.

Any illegal drug activity within 1,000 feet of the park elevates a 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 observed a person entering and leaving the house, 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 would also show that Caton and fellow officers went to Mitchell’s home, and she let them search it. 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 it for 12 months, she can withdraw the plea to the felony.

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

If Mitchell does not follow the agreement, 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 March 14, 2014.

Among the conditions she must adhere to are not using illegal drugs, undergoing drug counseling and submitting to random searches.

Caton said police seized more than 6 ounces of marijuana from the house 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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