Meth trafficking nets woman 10-25-year sentence
About two-dozen supporters, including one who flew in from Germany, turned out for the sentencing hearing of a Placerville woman who admitted trafficking in methamphetamine.
Laura C. Thrash, 48, was sentenced to 10-25 years in prison on the trafficking charge from August 2017 when she made three sales of 110 grams apiece to Douglas County drug agents.
Attorney Maria Pence argued that Thrash would not have been facing the trafficking charge had Douglas County authorities not encouraged a man working off a trafficking charge to contact his source.
In a sentencing memo, Pence said Thrash was first contacted in January 2016 by a family friend, who asked if she could get a pound of methamphetamine.
Thrash was able to get the methamphetamine, which a Minden man picked up in Placerville.
In April, Thrash agreed to get him more of the drug. Around the same time the Douglas County Sheriff’s Street Enforcement Team started conducting controlled buys from the man. Testimony indicated he sold 42 grams of methamphetamine through June 2016,
The man was arrested on June 30, 2016. About 4 ounces of methamphetamine were found in his Minden home.
Pence said the informant was never charged with trafficking in the case after he agreed to work with the team.
He set up buys from Thrash on July 7, 19 and Aug. 19.
The Minden resident pleaded guilty to a single count of sales of a controlled substance and placed on probation.
Pence said Thrash had never sold drugs before being contacted by her friend, who was seeing the Minden resident.
According to Pence’s memo, the team gave the informant $1,600 deposited into Thrash’s bank account and another $200 to pay for gas to bring the drugs to Douglas County.
“Those crimes could not have happened had it not been for Douglas County sending money to California to bring drugs into our state,” Pence said.
Prosecutor Matthew Johnson said the man was selling drugs before the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office got involved.
“She was a drug dealer who sold drugs to other dealers,” he said.
Three people testified to Thrash’s character at the Monday morning sentencing hearing.
California resident William Peterson testified he’d known Thrash since 2007 and they worked side by side on a number of things.
“She hasn’t hurt anyone that I’ve ever seen,” he said.
He said that the death of Thrash’s mother resulted in a drastic change in her.
“She got caught up in a web of drugs,” he said.
Another friend said she’d known Thrash for 28 years.
Ashley Fletcher said that when she and her mom were evicted Thrash helped her move, and then drove her across the country to Seattle.
“She taught me what it’s like to be a caring person,” she said.
There were only two sentences District Judge Tom Gregory could have given Thrash, either life with eligibility for parole after 10 years or 25 years with parole after 10 years.
Both attorneys and Parole and Probation recommended the latter.
He also sentenced Thrash to 19-48 months for failing to appear in district court in August 2018.
“You have an incredible amount of support here today,” Gregory said. “You will need that support while serving your prison sentence and beyond.”