Carson woman gets probation in cocaine sales
Nevada Appeal News Service
A 20-year-old Carson City woman who lost her job as a preschool teacher for selling cocaine in an undercover sting was sentenced to 30 days in Douglas County Jail as part of her probation.
District Judge Michael Gibbons ordered Brittany Baxter-Stuchell to turn herself in on Monday. He delayed imposition of the sentence so Baxter-Stuchell could attend a funeral.
She pleaded guilty to sale of a controlled substance stemming from a Feb. 28, 2007, transaction in the parking lot at Target in north Douglas County.
According to court documents, the sheriff’s Street Enforcement Team set up the purchase. Baxter-Stuchell allegedly took the cocaine from her purse and said she could provide marijuana, Ecstasy or hallucinogenic mushrooms.
She said Monday she no longer associates with her co-defendants, one of whom had been her boyfriend.
“These are not people or situations I surround myself with,” she said.
“You may not think you’re a drug dealer – you’re not importing drugs from Colombia – but in pleading guilty to sale of a controlled substance, you’re a drug dealer,” Gibbons said.
Her lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said Baxter-Stuchell realized the felony conviction put her dreams of becoming a teacher on hold for at least 15 years until her record may be sealed.
“She did have dreams of becoming a teacher,” Lopez said. “She knows now that is gone for a very long time. That is a significant punishment.”
She received probation because she cooperated with law enforcement in other drug investigations.
“I know I made a very big mistake,” Baxter-Stuchell said. “I am not on drugs. I hurt my family very badly and I hurt my schooling. I am taking full responsibility.”
Gibbons suspended a three-year sentence in Nevada State Prison and placed Stuchell on three years probation.
She must undergo substance abuse evaluation and treatment and may not use drugs or alcohol during probation.
He ordered her to pay $1,000 restitution at $150 per month. She must graduate from high school or earn her general educational development certification and pay $500 to reimburse the county for her court-appointed attorney.
She faced six years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
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