BISBEE — A Sierra Vista woman sentenced last week to 10 years in prison for transportation of methamphetamine for sale had been offered a plea deal earlier this year which called for only five years imprisonment, court documents reveal.
Lillian Eva Aguilar rejected the five-year deal and stood trial in March when a jury convicted her of the transportation charge and six other 2016 drug charges involving heroin, meth, and marijuana. She was sentenced Monday by Judge Tim Dickerson to short prison terms on those charges to be served at the same time as the 10-year term.
Under state law, the transportation of meth sentence must be served in full, with no early release option.
Dickerson also sentenced Aguilar, 37, in three additional drug cases resolved after the trial by a second plea offer from the Cochise County Attorney’s Office. One of those cases resulted in a 12-year prison sentence for a July 2018 possession of meth charge which is eligible for early release after she serves 85 percent of the term.
Aguilar is expected to be released on that charge after only 10 years once credit is applied for time she already served in the Cochise County Jail pending resolution of the case.
Her other two cases involved a 2017 offense for possession of marijuana and a 2018 charge for attempting to bring drug contraband into the jail. Those cases netted terms of probation -the longest seven years- upon her release from prison.
Damage to others
The Herald/Review confirmed the pre-trial plea deal offered by the county attorney’s office covered all four of Aguilar’s drug cases. It would have allowed her to be released from prison after only five years followed by three years on probation.
Dickerson noted during Monday’s hearing that the jury’s verdict meant he could have imposed a 15-year sentence on the meth transportation charge. However, he agreed with defense attorney Harry Moore that 10 years was sufficient.
But that didn’t stop the judge from addressing Aguilar about the damage caused by her criminal drug activity.
“You were pulling other people into the same problem you’re here for,” Dickerson told Aguilar. “How many lives did you mess up?”
After the hearing, prosecutor Terisha Driggs said she was pleased the judge addressed the impact of Aguilar’s illicit actions across Cochise County.
“Too many times I hear people say ‘drugs are a victimless crime’ but this is simply not true, because substance abuse can have a detrimental impact on family, friends, and the community,” she said. “The State is satisfied with the jury’s decision and believes that the sentence imposed by Judge Dickerson was not only fair, but merciful considering Ms. Aguilar’s exposure.”