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Woman involved in meth ring sentenced to one year in jail in plea agreement

Kay Peterson

A Park Rapids woman at the center of an alleged methamphetamine ring was sentenced Thursday to one year in jail.

Kay Marie Peterson, 38, will be eligible for electronic home monitoring after she has served six months of her sentence. She must make restitution of $4,000 to the state for the undercover drug buys that resulted in her arrest and pay a $2,000 fine.

"This is a serious offense," Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne told the court. "She was heavily involved in the drug culture of Park Rapids for quite a period of time."

Dearstyne objected to a portion of the plea agreement, saying Peterson had no plans for a treatment program other than "not using." He said without a long-term plan for recovery, Peterson stands a risk of returning to her former life.

"Meth is a horrendous drug that drains considerably on our society," he said.

"She wants to avoid going back to that meth world," said defense attorney Rich Kenly of Backus. "She doesn't want to go back to meth. She will do whatever it takes. She got involved in drugs, got addicted, got sucked into that world."

Peterson, when asked if she wanted to speak, addressed the court quietly.

"I know I was messed up in drugs and it was a bad drug," she admitted. "I want to change my life. I don't want to go back to drugs. It was a dark, evil time."

Her father, who she asked to move in with her after her arrest to help keep her straight, has accompanied her to court, she said.

"You've been given a pretty significant break in this plea agreement," said District Judge John Smith, noting her First Degree Drug Possession plea could have brought her a maximum 30 years and/or a $1 million fine.

He sentenced her to 102 months and stayed the sentence. But she will be on supervised probation for 30 years, during which time she must refrain from using drugs or associating with people who use them. She will also be subject to random drug testing.

"This is not a victimless crime," Smith admonished her, saying she contributed to getting children addicted to meth in a chain of supply and eventual addiction.

"You were part of that chain," the judge told Peterson. "You not only destroyed your life but contributed to the destruction of others. You were part of a great deal of destruction to the community."

Peterson was taken into custody immediately to begin serving her sentence in Hubbard County.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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