JC was charged with First Degree Conspiracy to distribute 9 ounces of cocaine. A government informant set up a deal to buy 5 pounds of marijuana from JC. This deal, if completed the way originally intended would have resulted in a charge of 5th degree sale/possession which is a low level felony with a probationary sentence. The government in their infinite wisdom through DEA agents decided to up the ante and change the deal for nine ounces of cocaine. The actual cocaine came from the evidence locker of the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. By changing the deal the government changed the potential charges to First Degree sale/possession which would result in a guideline sentence of 86 months.
The Defense negotiated a straight plea to second degree sale/possession of controlled substance. This means that the State would seek a prison sentence of no less than 48 months but the defense was free to argue for any sentence including zero time.
JC took the case very seriously. Realizing that she was caught up in something way over her head and that her life was out of control, she went to work. By that I mean went to work on her life. With the aid and advice of her lawyer, Bruce Rivers, JC got herself into treatment. She completed her masters degree in psychology. She started a women's Christian support group and reunited with her family. Her change did not come without pain. She fought a little, stumbled a little but stuck it out and completely changed her life around.
Woman Gets Probation on Serious Felony Drug Charges
Without any prior criminal history, the Defense sucessfully argued that JC was amenable to probation and that this mother of four boys did not belong in jail. Drugs ruined her life but the impeteus for change and law enforcement intervention motivated JC to do a complete 180. A courageous judge in Ramsey County sentenced JC to probation. While she received a significant amount of community service she was not ordered to serve anyjail time. Most judges today are afraid to think outside of the box. Most are afraid of the political backlash if they give someone a break. Many judges are former prosecutors and would never consider a sentence that they would oppose as a prosecutor and thus are still prosecutors on the bench. A tip of the hat goes out to this courageous jurist and to JC for making the system work.