Road assistance leads to prison
March 28, 2014
A California couple, who stopped to help the driver of a disabled vehicle, was sent to prison Monday for drug possession after officials found more than two pounds of marijuana in their car.
District Judge Michael Gibbons sentenced Carl Foutch, 36, and Lora Ann Konnerth, 36, to 30 months in Nevada state prison with a minimum parole eligibility of 12 months.
The Rio Linda, Calif., couple was arrested Dec. 17, 2013, in the parking lot behind Harrah's casino. According to reports, deputies were aiding a driver of a disabled vehicle when Foutch stopped to help.
Konnerth reportedly tried to exit the vehicle and exclaimed that she'd spilled beer in the back seat.
The officer, noting the car had been mobile in the parking lot, asked about the open container.
While speaking with Konnerth, he noticed three large glass jars in the back window that contained marijuana.
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Deputies eventually found 13 jars containing 973 grams, or a little more than two pounds of marijuana. They also confiscated packaging material, marijuana pipes, cigarette roller, rolling papers, four cell phones, butane fuel, marijuana seeds, and filters and screens.
A records search revealed Foutch had been to prison seven times for charges related to trafficking and sales of controlled substances.
He told officers he had a California medical marijuana card and was unaware he was in Nevada.
Foutch claimed the marijuana was for personal use, according to reports.
"I'm sorry," he told Gibbons. "I have no excuse for my actions. I messed up."
He pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Konnerth pleaded guilty to possession of a controlled substance that usually is mandatory probation.
Her attorney, Kris Brown, said her client decided drug court would be too difficult to complete, so she wanted to serve the prison term.
Konnerth, who is disabled, said she has difficulty with transportation and finding employment. She also has prior felony convictions that could disqualify her for mandatory probation.
Konnerth said she was homeless and was expecting aid to come through in California so she could have a knee replacement and be treated for seizures.
"I have nowhere to go," she said.