An Ottawa County judge sentenced a woman accused of methamphetamine trafficking to prison Thursday.
Amanda Cooper, 37, pleaded guilty to methamphetamine trafficking, evidence tampering, drug possession and aggravated drug possession as part of a plea deal in February.
The charges originated from multiple arrests, including a raid at her home where she allegedly tried to dispose of methamphetamine before drug task force agents could find it.
Cooper was supported by an audience of family and friends when she appeared in court for her sentencing hearing Thursday.
The prosecution recommended consecutive prison sentences were necessary to protect the public because of the large volume of methamphetamine she trafficked into the area.
But Cooper’s counsel, Sandusky attorney Geoffrey Oglesby, argued for a more lenient sentence because of how young she was when she started to use drugs.
“We talk about protecting the public but who protected her,” Oglesby said.
He recommended treatment in lieu of punishment and suggested Cooper be sent to Ottawa County’s Drug Court to help her overcome addiction.
”I’m not a horrible person,” Cooper said. “I’m more than the felonies on that paper.”
The defense pointed to the large crowd of family and friends present in the court for Cooper as evidence of her character.
The court weighed the recommendations and factors presented by both sides to try to balance rehabilitation for the defendant with the protection of the public, common pleas Judge Bruce Winters said.
“I find drug court tremendously helpful to the community, it’s very close to my heart,” Winters said. “There was a very large amount of meth involved, being trafficked…that calls for not only rehabilitation but also punishment.”
He sentenced Cooper to four years and 11 months in prison with credit for time already served in the jail.
Winters suggested she take advantage of programs in the prison system and, when she’s released, she may still use drug court to help in her recovery.
Cooper’s family comforted one another as she was taken to the county jail where she will wait until she’s transferred to a prison.
Reach reporter Michael Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org