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Local sentenced to five years in drug trafficking case

Jeannie Elizabeth Cheney has been sentenced to as much as five years in state prison for a pair of felony convictions stemming from a 2011 drug arrest.

Cheney was sentenced to 24 to 60 months following convictions of felony conspiracy to violate the uniform controlled substance act, and offer, attempt or commission of unauthorized acts relating to controlled substances, first offense.

Cheney will receive 162 days credit for time served, and Nye County District Court Judge Kimberly Wanker subsequently ordered that the sentences run concurrent.

The convictions stemmed from an October 2011 arrest when a confidential informant working for the sheriff’s office set up a drug deal with Cheney, Robert James Walsh and Jennifer Cotner. The confidential informant reportedly asked Walsh to transport two ounces of methamphetamine to a “buyer” in Pahrump.

Cheney’s attorney Michael Printy argued for probation and the opportunity to attend drug court stating the convicted had a drug problem but had received help in Las Vegas. Cheney had another drug case out of Las Vegas and was previously enrolled in the Eighth Judicial District Drug Court Program.

“A lot of (the crime) was to fund her drug problems,” Printy said. “She has been in that subculture for quite a while.”

Wanker said she is very familiar with the affects of drugs on people, given that she runs the drug court program. Cheney had moved from being a user to a drug trafficker, the judge said.

“A trafficker infects this community,” Wanker said. “There is a huge difference between a trafficker and a user… I want to stop drugs coming in to Nye County. The societal costs of drugs and trafficking are huge to this community.”

When Cheney attempted to interrupt Wanker and argue that she had no knowledge that there were drugs in the vehicle, Wanker quickly stated, “I am very familiar with this case. I’ve listened to the tapes. I know exactly what happened. You are not going to stand there and convince me that you didn’t know there were drugs in that car.”

Wanker stated that Cheney’s co-defendants were both in prison.

Cheney said, “I just want to apologize to the citizens of Nye County. I’ve had a drug addiction off and on for the past 15 years. I would like the chance to be allowed to attend drug court. I know I can succeed.”

After arriving at the Rebel Station, the agreed upon meeting location, located at 820 S. Highway 160 in Pahrump, the three were stopped by deputies with the Nye County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies searched the vehicle and found a clear Tupperware container containing two bags of suspected methamphetamine with an approximate weight of 54 grams. All three were subsequently arrested and charged with several felonies related to trafficking in controlled substances – methamphetamine.

Wanker told Cheney that she did not feel Cheney would be a good candidate for drug court because of the extensive arrest history and sometimes violent charges related to that.

Cheney’s co-defendants were sentenced to prison terms in this case. Walsh was sentenced to life without parole after a jury convicted him at trial. Cotner was granted a term of probation. HSowever, on June 26, 2013, her probation was revoked and she was sentenced to a prison term of 24 to 60 months in the Nevada Department of Corrections.

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