Somerset Woman Sentenced For Selling Cocaine

SOMERST -- Crystal Blanton, 23, of Somerset was sentenced to five years imprisonment following a sentencing hearing in Pulaski Circuit Court, according to Commonwealth's Attorney Eddy F. Montgomery.

According to UNITE Prosecutor David L. Dalton, an undercover operative was able to purchase crack cocaine from Blanton on two occasions in August 2006. Blanton was indicted by the Pulaski County Grand Jury on September 27, 2006, and was immediately arrested. Following her arrest, Blanton told officers that she had sold Cocaine at least 50 times prior.

Blanton pled guilty to the charges on May 20.

At her sentencing hearing Friday, July 6, Blanton urged the court to probate her sentence. Blanton stated that she had turned her life around and simply wanted to be a mother to her two children.

Dalton objected, noted that there was no hint of Blanton selling all those drugs out of an addiction. Rather, it was clear that she simply sold the drugs for the money and that she had already been shown leniency in a five-year sentence recommendation. Dalton stated that Blanton had only served 23 days in jail prior to the hearing and that it would be unjust to sell that much cocaine and only serve 23 days.

Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey T. Burdette, upon reviewing Blanton's criminal history, noted that she had previously been convicted of possession of marijuana and had avoided a jail sentence - simply getting a fine. Judge Burdette told Blanton that she should have taken advantage of that break if she was truly interested in improving herself.

Judge Burdette ordered the five-year sentence imposed and had Blanton taken into custody.

For more information about Operation UNITE visit their website at .

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In 2003, Fifth District Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers (R-Somerset) worked to create Operation UNITE, a regional anti-drug initiative empowering citizens groups and community leaders in 29 southern and eastern Kentucky counties. UNITE, which stands for Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education, seeks to fight the drug epidemic by expanding drug awareness and education programs to keep people from using drugs; coordinating drug treatment and outreach programs for those who are already addicted; and operating regional undercover law enforcement task forces for interdiction and prosecution of those dealing drugs. Rogers has directed $33.1 million in federal funds to the counter-drug initiative over the past four years. For more information contact Karen Engle toll-free at 1-866-678-6483.

Drug Tip Hotline - 1-866-424-4382 / Treatment Referral Hotline - 1-866-90-UNITE (1-866-908-6483)

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