PHILIPSBURG–A 49-year-old woman was sentenced Wednesday to three months suspended, on two years’ probation and 100 hours of community service for dealing some 100 grams of cocaine.
Cristina Warner, who was born in the Dominican Republic, denied the charges and told the Court she didn’t know the drugs were hidden in a pair of shoes that were found during a police search of her house.
She claimed the shoes and the drugs belonged to a homeless man, who she only knew by his first name André. She said he was staying at her house for two weeks.
Her attorney claimed his client’s house had been searched illegally and said she had been deprived of her right to legal counsel during questioning by the police. These were serious infringements on her rights, which should lead to the Prosecutor’s case against her being declared inadmissible by the Court, Hatzmann said.
Warner was arrested and her house searched after the police held a man with a small quantity of cocaine in his hand. The man informed them he had just purchased 0.6 grams of the hard drug for US $10 at the woman’s house.
The Judge agreed with the Prosecutor that there was nothing wrong with the procedures leading up to this case and allowed the hearing to proceed.
Warner was arrested November 25, 2015, and charged with possession of 99.1 grams of cocaine. The Prosecutor also called for the confiscation of the amount of NAf. 2,600, which was found in various denominations and at different locations in the suspect’s house.
Warner told the court she sold beer and non-alcoholic refreshments and made around $850 a month. She said the money that was found in her house was savings in a so-called “Partner Hand” scheme she had set up with neighbours.
The Prosecutor’s Office called for three months suspended, 150 hours of community service and confiscation of the money and drugs, for the first offender.
Hatzmann pleaded for his client’s acquittal and said imposing a high fine would be an “open invitation” to commit new crimes. He made the suggestion to declare Warner guilty without imposing a sentence.
Source: The Daily Herald Cocaine-dealing woman sentenced