Thomaston woman earns probation on drug trafficking charge
Rockland — A convicted drug trafficker will not go to prison for dealing in prison contraband sales.
Ashley Rae Benner, 29, appeared in Knox County Superior Court Dec. 21 on old charges of trafficking in prison contraband and two counts of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs.
She had pleaded guilty in 2011 on the charges and received a deferred disposition sentence for a year after pleading guilty.
According to the state's deferred disposition law of 2003, a person is eligible for sentencing, deferred to a date certain, if the court deems it "reasonable and appropriate" to assist a person to lead a law-abiding life.
The person must refrain from criminal conduct and pay no more than $50 a month for an administrative supervision fee.
A person is deemed to have been convicted when a court imposes such a sentence, according to the law.
Justice Jeffrey Hjelm on Dec. 21 sentenced Benner to a year in prison but suspended the sentence to probation for one year on the count of trafficking in prison contraband. A separate count of unlawful possession of a scheduled drug was dismissed, and she was ordered to pay a $400 fine on another unlawful possession count.
Hjelm praised Benner for having earned her suspension and for having a "good outcome" from the arrangement.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.