Two Craig women arraigned following felony drug charges involving fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine

Two Craig women facing felony drug charges were arraigned Thursday, Oct. 27, in Moffat County District Court. 

According to police, an investigation conducted by the All Crimes Enforcement Team led to the arrests of Paula Hall, 58, and Kristy Nielson, 55. Both women are residents of Craig. 

According to the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement officers stopped a vehicle carrying Hall and Nielson on Monday, Oct. 24, at Victory Way and Taylor Street. 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 reportedly revealed more than two pounds of methamphetamine, 10 grams of cocaine and approximately 580 pills containing fentanyl. 

Hall and Nielson were booked into the Moffat County Jail on felony drug distribution charges. Moffat County Jail booking reports show that Nielson was released Monday on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. Hall is currently in custody on a $100,000 bond.

The Moffat County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the charges and bonds set for the two suspects. 

Booking reports show that both women are being charged with multiple counts of possession of a controlled substance, as well as the unlawful distribution, manufacturing, dispensing or sale of a controlled substance. Hall was also charged with keeping, maintaining or making a controlled substance available. 

Both Hall and Nielson appeared in front of Judge Brittany A. Schneider for arraignment hearings on Thursday, and during the hearing, attorney Randy Salky was appointed as Hall’s legal counsel. 

Judge Schneider also postponed Hall’s arraignment until Friday, Oct. 28, so Hall could have time to speak with her attorney prior to discussing her bond and charges.

Nielsen appeared virtually and was charged with three felony counts of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

According to Judge Scheinder, the fentanyl charge has a possible penalty of up to 32 years in the department of corrections with three years mandatory parole and up to $1 million in fines.  

The other two felonies have a possible penalty of up to four years in the department of corrections, a mandatory one-year parole period and up to a $5,000 fine. Those penalties could be increased if the charges are considered aggravated offenses. 

Nielson has applied for a public defender and asked for a continuance until her legal counsel could be present. Another hearing is set for Thursday, Dec. 1. 

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