Woman pleads guilty to felony drug charge

A 19-year-old Juneau woman pleaded guilty on Wednesday to dealing methamphetamine.

Nicole Jean Clayton entered the plea in Juneau Superior Court, and Judge Louis Menendez scheduled a sentencing hearing for April.

Clayton was indicted by a grand jury in December on three counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the third degree. That’s a class ‘B’ felony offense that can carry up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, though the presumptive sentencing range for first time offenders is one to three years.

Prosecutors charged Clayton for selling an undercover police informant .5 grams of methamphetamine for $120 in the Alaska Native Brotherhood parking lot in October. A few days later, officers conducted another controlled buy between the informant and Clayton in a commercial parking lot where Clayton sold the informant .3 grams of methamphetamine for $120. A third controlled buy took place in November at a trailer in the 6200 block of Alaway Avenue, the same street that houses the Juneau Police Department station. In that scenario, Clayton sold an undercover police officer .4 grams of methamphetamine for $120, according to charging documents.

In a plea agreement reached with prosecutors, Clayton pleaded guilty to the first count of the indictment, and the other two charges were dismissed.

The agreement calls for Clayton to serve one year in jail and to be on supervised probation for four years after her release. The agreement also allows for what’s called a suspended imposition of sentencing, which means while this felony conviction can never be expunged from her criminal record, it can be “set aside” while she is on probation. The conviction can only be set aside after successfully completing probation without violating any conditions of release.

The plea deal also requires Clayton to pay full restitution to the state for the drug buy money. That amount will be determined before the sentencing hearing.

Assistant District Attorney Angie Kemp noted in court that Clayton was on probation for a separate 2010 case as she was selling the drugs in this case. Court records show Clayton pleaded guilty in November of 2010 to one count of misdemeanor reckless endangerment in District Court. In that case, a judge imposed 180 days of jail time with 168 days suspended, meaning there were 12 days to serve. She was sentenced to be on probation for two years.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.


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