Meth suspect accepts plea agreement

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A Craig woman arrested in a December methamphetamine sweep accepted a plea agreement Wednesday.

The woman, Kassandra Dilldine, 19, pleaded guilty in 14th Judicial District Court to lesser charges in exchange for a guarantee that a judge won't sentence her to prison.

Dilldine was one of 15 people arrested in December during the biggest meth sweep in Moffat County history. All 15 were charged with distribution and possession of methamphetamine.

At Wednesday's hearing, Dilldine accepted a plea agreement from the District Attorney's Office and pleaded guilty to lesser charges of misdemeanor marijuana possession and attempted distribution of meth, a Class 4 felony.

Chief Judge Michael O'Hara told Dilldine that he could sentence her to multiple years in a community correctional facility. Community correctional facilities allow inmates to work and live on their own, but inmates are required to check in with authorities and take drug tests.

O'Hara will sentence Dilldine on March 21.

O'Hara declined a request from Dilldine's lawyer to lower her $50,000 bail but ruled she would be allowed to bond out of jail on a personal recognizance bond.

The bond would require Dilldine's signature and the signature of her parents, O'Hara said.

If Dilldine bonded out of jail and violated the condition of the bond, the prosecution would revoke the plea agreement, deputy district attorney Michael Stern said.

Two other people arrested in December's sweep, Paul Mendoza, 39, and Trixie Albaugh, 30, also were in court Wednesday.

Mendoza was ready to accept a plea agreement, but Judge O'Hara rejected the terms of the agreement.

Under the agreement, Mend-oza, who is serving a one-year sentence from a previous offense, would not serve any additional jail time. Mendoza would have been sentenced to one year in jail concurrent with the sentence he is serving.

Mendoza's lawyer, public defender Sheryl Uhlmann, argued that the prosecution would have substantial trouble proving Mendoza sold meth, so the lenient sentence was appropriate.

The informant whose testimony Mendoza's arrest was based on never saw Mendoza sell drugs, Uhlmann said.

O'Hara, however, said he could not accept a plea that would not result in additional jail time.

Mendoza's case was sent back to Moffat County Court for a preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for March 6.

Albaugh waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday, and a judge sent her case to district court.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

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