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Woman sentenced to drug program under Prop 36 plea agreement

Posted: October 7, 2013 6:51 p.m.
Updated: October 7, 2013 6:51 p.m.

SANTA CLARITA - One of two people arrested in a Valencia drug raid three months ago was sentenced Monday to a drug-diversion program and to three years’ probation, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

Debra Susan Ballinger, a 47-year-old pharmacy technician, appeared Monday in San Fernando Superior court where she entered a plea of no contest to one count of possession of a controlled substance, a felony, said Shiara Dávila-Morales.

“The defendant was immediately sentenced to a Prop 36 drug program and three years of formal probation,” she said. “Ballinger was given total credit for one day in custody.“

Under Proposition 36 — the state’s Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act — qualifying defendants convicted of non-violent drug possession offenses are allowed to receive a probationary sentence in lieu of jail time. Probation can be revoked if the person convicted fails to compete the program.

Ballinger and a 34-year-old man were arrested at a home on Tossano Drive July 10 when detectives and deputies with the Crime Impact Team and the Crime Prevention Team executed a search warrant for narcotics at the Summit-area home, Deputy Josh Dubin said at the time.

Prosecutors did not file any charges against Shilo Dockery, the man arrested with Ballinger.

Deputies recovered methamphetamines during their search and notified Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control officers about two pit bulls that were subsequently seized.
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