Woman Pleads Guilty to Felony Marijuana Possession
A woman admitted to a felony drug charge at her arraignment Wednesday in Albany County District Court.
Rae Rae Contreras, 34, pleaded guilty to one felony count of marijuana possession. She has been convicted twice previously in 2010 and 2013 on similar charges, making this latest charge a felony.
In exchange for her guilty plea, prosecutors agreed to recommend a sentence of probation, so long as Contreras does not violate the conditions of her bond before her sentencing hearing. Contreras could still potentially spend a maximum of five years in prison and have to pay a $5,000 fine.
According to court documents, Contreras was arrested around midnight on May 3 after an Albany County Sheriff’s deputy saw her vehicle swerve over the center line on Curtis Street and pulled her over.
The deputy says in his affidavit that he saw Contreras’s passenger, a 14-year-old girl, reach behind the driver’s seat of the vehicle.
The deputy reportedly saw an open beer behind the driver’s seat when he approached the car, and Contreras’s speech was slow and slurred. The deputy returned to his vehicle to run Contreras through dispatch, and while he was in his patrol car he reportedly saw Contreras and the passenger reaching toward the back seat of the car.
Contreras did not perform well in field sobriety tests, and the deputy placed her under arrest. However, a breath sample from Contreras indicated a blood-alcohol content of .000. According to the affidavit, Contreras told deputies that she had taken Trazadone – an antidepressant – and smoked marijuana earlier in the evening.
The deputy returned Contreras’s vehicle and found marijuana in a dispensary container in her purse along with paraphernalia. Also in the vehicle were a nail gun and an Xbox 360 hard drive that had both been reported stolen from other states.
Contreras was taken to Ivinson Memorial Hospital so a blood sample could be taken before she was transferred back to the Albany County Detention Center. Deputies placed the 14-year-old passenger in the care of a family member.
A sentencing date will be set pending completion of the presentence investigation. Contreras remains free on bond.
Defense attorney Candace Pisciotti on Tuesday asked Judge Jeffrey Donnell to amend Contreras’s bond conditions to allow her to attend therapy in the evenings and potentially get a second job. Donnell granted the request.
“If you use again pending sentencing, you can kiss this deal goodbye,” said Donnell. “I’m just not going to mess with it anymore.”
Contreras faces additional charges in Albany County Circuit Court stemming from her arrest May 3. In addition to the possession charge, she was cited for three misdemeanors: open container, driving while under the influence and failure to maintain a single lane.