Woman changes plea in federal court for oxy distribution

Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011

A Juneau woman arrested with two other defendants and accused of illegal possession and distribution of oxycodone changed her plea from not guilty to guilty in U.S. District Court at the Juneau Federal Building on Thursday.

Tessa Marie Evans, formerly Tessa Cox, 29, pled to one count of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone in a plea agreement reached by public defender Scott Dattan, appearing telephonically, and Juneau’s federal prosecutor Jack Schmidt.

Federal Judge Timothy Burgess read the plea documents that stated between Dec. 8, 2010, and Jan. 25 there was an agreement between two or more persons to distribute and with intent to distribute oxycodone and that Evans became a member of that group knowing at least one of the objects was intending to help accomplish that process.

The federal maximum for the charge is 20 years in prison, a $1 million fine, and three years supervised release.

Burgess stated that the congressional statutes and the U.S. Advisory Guidelines on controlled substances allow for the amount of drugs involved and past criminal history to have an impact on the sentencing.

Evans’ plea includes that she is only responsible for 4.8 grams of actual oxycodone in determination of the guideline range. Evans had possessed 10 80-milligram tablets valued at $1200 during one buy.

Evans will also forfeit $600 to the United States taken from her at her arrest.

The courtroom was sealed briefly to discuss additional aspects of the plea.

Upon unsealing, Burgess went over some of the rights Evans could lose with her plea, including sitting on a jury, possessing firearms, eligibility for food stamps and children’s services, and federal grants, contracts or licenses.

A probation officer will interview Evans and prepare a report to present the court before sentencing. A sentencing hearing was tentatively set for an undetermined day in July.

Evans was arrested Jan. 24 with California residents Lorenzo Williams, 31, and Avis Bowdry, 19, in a joint drug task force operation between the Juneau Police Department, Southeast Alaska Cities Against Drugs (SEACAD) and the FBI.

The JPD Drug Enforcement Unit intercepted a package. They enlisted the help of the SEACAD K-9 unit and the FBI to make a controlled delivery. The suspects were arrested, and the contents of the package were given a street value of $95,000 worth of oxycodone. More than $6,000 in cash was seized on scene.

Another Juneau resident, Danny Woodard, 28, was arrested at the scene on an outstanding JPD warrant for disorderly conduct and was arraigned in Juneau Superior Court.

Also arrested at the scene was Timothy Beagle under a felony warrant for being a felon in possession of a firearm and a forfeiture count. Beagle faces 10 years in jail, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release.

Beagle has pleaded not guilty through public defender Sue Ellen Tatter and was scheduled for a two-day trial on March 30.

Beagle and Tatter also apvpeared in federal court Thursday to request a new trial date as information of Beagle possibly being tried as a career criminal had not been received to date. Burgess set a May 2 trial date.

Williams and Bowdry have pretrial hearings set for April 1 in Anchorage, both have pled not guilty.

• Contact Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at klas.stolpe@juneauempire.com.

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