A suspected drug mule has been convicted of trying to bring heroin on a plane flying from Seattle to Juneau.
Juneau resident Jessica L. Beck, 25, changed her plea to guilty Wednesday in Juneau Superior Court before Judge Philip Pallenberg.
She entered into a plea agreement that calls for five years in prison with four years suspended, meaning one year to serve. The deal requires her to serve five years of probation after her release.
Pallenberg will decide whether to accept the plea deal during a sentencing hearing in February.
Beck was arrested at the Juneau International Airport in early November on suspicion of transporting drugs. Police said she had two packages hidden on her person that contained approximately 111 grams of a substance that field tested position for heroin. Its street value was estimated to be $110,000, according to an earlier news release from police.
She was later indicted by a grand jury convened by the District Attorney’s Office on a single count of second-degree drug misconduct for possessing heroin with the intent to deliver. That’s a class ‘A’ felony that can carry up to 20 years in prison.
Beck pleaded guilty to a reduced charge: attempted second-degree drug misconduct, which means she “took a substantial step” towards possessing heroin with intent to deliver.
That’s a class ‘B’ that can carry up to 10 years in prison. It has a presumptive sentencing range of one to three years in prison for defendants, such as Beck, who do not have any prior felony convictions.
Beck admitted two sentencing aggravators, one for importing drugs to Alaska and one for the crime being among the ‘most serious’ offenses within the ‘B’ felony classification. Those aggravators allow the sentencing range to be higher than the presumptive range, or five years as agreed to in this case.
Beck is currently in custody at Lemon Creek Correctional Center, but will released to her mother in Haines as she awaits her sentencing hearing.
Beck’s attorney Kevin Higgins told the court that his client has struggled with drug addiction and will be seeking treatment.
• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.