Woman pleads guilty in undercover OxyContin bust

McCutcheon to serve 4 months for drug purchase worth $21K

Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009

A 25-year-old Juneau woman pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony drug charge related to an undercover OxyContin sting conducted last month in a Juneau hotel.

Loretta "Jean" McCutcheon pleaded guilty to misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a Class C felony, before Superior Court Judge Philip M. Pallenberg. She had originally been charged with misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second degree, a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, after being arrested in a multi-agency undercover drug operation March 19 at the Travelodge Hotel in the Mendenhall Valley.

McCutcheon, who had pleaded not guilty to the original charge, agreed Thursday to a deal where 20 months of a two-year sentence would be suspended, including three years of probation. Sentencing is scheduled for May 28.

Pallenberg said McCutcheon's four months in jail could be further reduced by up to 33 percent for good behavior. She is lodged at the Lemon Creek Correctional Center.

According to court documents, McCutcheon arranged a purchase of 400 80-milligram OxyContin pills for $21,000 on March 19, from an informant identified only as "DB." The buy turned out to be a joint undercover investigation between the Juneau Police Department, Drug Enforcement Agency, Port of Seattle Police and the Alaska State Troopers.

OxyContin is the name brand of an extended-release form of oxycodone, an opiate medication prescribed for pain. Police officers say the drug has become an increasing problem in the community in recent years. A single 80-milligram pill is estimated to have a street value between $175 and as much as $250, according to JPD.

Also arrested March 19 as part of the undercover operation was 27-year-old Dillinger Graham and 23-year-old Randal Benc.

Graham has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance in the fourth degree. He has been released on a $5,000 cash bail and is scheduled for a two-day trail to begin on June 29.

Benc has pleaded not guilty to a felony count of aiding and abetting misconduct involving a controlled substance in the second degree. No trial date was available in the court record as of Thursday. He is presently being lodged in the state prison.

According to court documents, Benc drove McCutcheon and Graham to the hotel to purchase the pills. The two men waited in the vehicle while McCutcheon went inside and paid the informant $1,000, allegedly telling the informant she was purchasing the OxyContin pills for Graham.

Investigators contacted the two men in the hotel parking lot and subsequently searched Graham, finding a pill cutter and "a small greenish half pill of OxyContin" in one pouch and three small Ziploc bags in the other. Those bags contained a white crystal substance that later tested positive for methamphetamine. Investigators also found a pair of brass knuckles on Graham.

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