Johnston faces jail after guilty plea


— A 24-year-old Craig woman pleaded guilty to an assortment of criminal charges Tuesday in Moffat County District Court, including a sole count of attempted drug distribution.

The All Crimes Enforcement Team arrested Mallory Johnston on March 26, a day after the task force apprehended 11 men believed to be part of an organized drug distribution network operating in Moffat, Routt and other Colorado counties.

She was charged with distribution of a controlled substance.

On Tuesday afternoon, she pleaded guilty to attempted distribution of a controlled substance, a Class 4 felony. The conviction could send Johnston to prison.

Jeremy Snow, a deputy 14th Judicial District Attorney, said terms of a plea agreement with Johnston cap a potential Department of Corrections sentence at six years.

Johnston was arrested the same day as two other suspects - Vita Pilar Hochreiter and Russell McDiffett.

After Johnston and the other suspects were arrested, ACET reported it thought the suspects were all part of the same alleged distribution network. Snow said he could not comment on whether ties existed between the suspects.

Johnston had five cases before the court Tuesday.

Under the plea agreement, she also pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance, unlawful use of a controlled substance and violation of bail bonds. Charges of possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and traffic infractions were dismissed.

Johnston is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Sept. 30 in District Court.

Hochreiter pleaded guilty in early July to distribution of a controlled substance and is scheduled to be sentenced at 1 p.m. Sept. 3 in District Court.

McDiffett has pleaded not guilty to a charge of distribution of a controlled substance and is set for a three-day jury trial beginning Nov. 19 in District Court.


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