Lorena Sanchez-Ramirez, caught with more than 500 pounds of marijuana last year in Missouri, received a suspended sentence Friday after originally getting a 10-year prison term from the judge who wound up setting her free.
Sanchez-Ramirez, a 43-year-old housekeeper and grandmother of nine from Douglas (a border town about 250 miles from Phoenix), was caught in Jasper County, Missouri, in November, 2008, driving a pickup truck with 501 pounds of weed stashed in the back under some blankets.
In May, Sanchez-Ramirez pleaded guilty to second-degree drug trafficking, a Class A felony that carries a 10-years-to-life prison sentence in Missouri.
Granny's attorney, Brad Kessler, told Missouri Circuit Court Judge David Mouton that his client had agreed to transport the drugs because of financial hardships her family was facing.
Apparently that's all it took for the judge to take pity.
On Friday, Judge Mouton chose not to enforce the 10-year sentence, opting to place Sanchez-Ramirez on probation, which allows her to live back in Arizona. He then gave her a good tongue-lashing.
"Hopefully, now having a felony conviction with a [possible] 10-year sentence will keep you from ever doing something this stupid again," Mouton told the pot-hauler, after releasing her from the slammer.
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Sanchez-Ramirez has taught us one thing: If you get caught transporting a huge amount of drugs, just saying "but I needed money" is now a viable defense. But probably only in Mouton's Missouri court.