Judge won’t reduce bond for Craig woman facing felony drug charges
A Craig woman who was arrested earlier this week on three felony drug charges was arraigned on Friday afternoon, Oct. 28 in Moffat County Court.
According to police, an investigation led to the arrests of Paula Hall, 58, and Kristy Nielson, 55, during a traffic stop on Monday, Oct. 24 at Victory Way and Taylor Street. Both women are Craig residents.
During the stop, the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office K9 unit Odin allegedly alerted officers to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. A search then revealed more than two pounds of methamphetamine, 10 grams of cocaine and approximately 580 pills containing fentanyl, according to police.
Hall and Nielson were booked into the Moffat County Jail. Booking reports show Nielson was released Oct. 24 on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond, while Hall’s bond was set at $100,000.
Hall appeared in front of Judge Brittany Schneider from the Moffat County Jail on Friday to discuss bond and receive court advisement.
During the arraignment, Randy Salky, who was appointed to represent Hall, requested a bond reduction. He told the court the $100,000 bond was catamount to no bond in this case because of the defendant’s inability to secure that amount of money.
However, Judge Brittany A. Schneider denied the request, citing Hall’s criminal history and the amount of drugs that were seized — an amount that Schneider said was consistent with the kind of distribution of a controlled substance that is killing people.
In his argument, Salky said Hall has a possible breast cancer diagnosis and has been contacted by the hospital about a radiology appointment and possible biopsy. Salky reported that Hall has two adult daughters, one in Grand Junction and one in Denver, whom Hall could reside with for the duration of the case.
But Assistant District Attorney Matthew Tjosvold requested the judge keep the $100,000 bond in place, reiterating that the amount of drugs seized poses an “extreme danger to the community.”
Tjosvold asked the court to take into account the “amount of scheming” that took place to bring the drugs, which were found hidden inside of a stuffed animal, into the community.
Hall also has several convictions for possession of controlled substances with intent to sell, starting in 1995 and the most recent being in 2018. Tjosvold said Hall has a history of failing to adhere to court orders including probation, parole and failure to appear.
“There is a significant public safety concern,” Schneider said, adding that based on the circumstances and the possibility of a very lengthy possible penalty, the court felt the bond was appropriate.
Salky requested to readdress the bond at the next hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 10.
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