Chesterton Tribune


Local woman gets 20 months in federal prison after pleading to heroin charge

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A Chesterton woman has been sentenced to 20 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to possess heroin with the intent to distribute it, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

That sentence is longer than the 15 months for which Christine Roth, 22, had been hoping but considerably shorter than the mandatory minimum of five years which the U.S. Attorney’s Office agreed to waive in this case.

Roth must also serve two years of supervised release.

In September, Roth—with a listed address on Pinehurst Ave.—agreed to plead guilty to the charge, with the understanding that by cooperating with law enforcement the mandatory minimum sentence of five years could be reduced to a period of 30 to 37 months, according to court documents.

In a memorandum subsequently filed with the court, however, Roth’s attorney stated that, given the facts of the case and Roth’s history, a maximum term of 15 months would be more appropriate.

“Prior to her arrest, (Roth) was a profound heroin junky” who became involved in the distribution side of heroin to the extent necessary to feed her addiction,” according to the memorandum.

In arguing—unsuccessfully—for a 15-month sentence, Roth’s attorney noted in the memorandum that Roth has struggled with addiction “throughout her entire adult life” but has no criminal history besides the indictment and has “exhibited pro-social behavior throughout the entirety of her life, including steady school enrollment and employment.”

“At only 22 years of age, she has career and family dreams and is even thinking of opening her own business,” the memorandum stated. “She now understands that the only thing standing between her and this fully productive lifestyle is her addiction to drugs.”

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.



Posted 12/17/2012