WALLA WALLA — A Spokane woman who pleaded guilty to leaving marijuana and chewing tobacco for distribution on the grounds of the Washington State Penitentiary in June was sentenced Monday afternoon to 45 days on electronic home monitoring at her own expense.
Andrea M. Olsen, 44, faced up to three months in jail after entering the plea Oct. 7 to a charge of second-degree introducing contraband. But in handing down the sentence, Walla Walla County Superior Court Judge Scott Wolfram went along with a prosecution recommendation.
Wolfram gave Olsen credit for the four days she served in the County Jail from the time of her arrest until she was released pending the outcome of her case. He also placed her on a year of community custody, a form of probation, and ordered her to pay nearly $1,700 in court costs and fees.
Olsen declined to make a statement before Wolfram imposed her sentence.
Her attorney, Robin Olson, told the judge his client has no prior record and this was a “blip” in her life.
Olson explained cryptically that Olsen committed the crime because “it was something that needed to be done to protect another person.”
“It wasn’t something she just dreamed up and was doing for fun,” the attorney added, opting not to be more specific at Olsen’s request.
Olsen also initially faced a charge of possession of a controlled substance by a person not a prisoner, in addition to second-degree criminal trespass. But those were dropped in a plea agreement.
Her fiance, Steven D. Hackett, 52, also of Spokane, is set for trial Dec. 9 and 10 on a charge of delivery of marijuana while in a state correctional facility, in addition to the possession and trespass counts Olsen faced. He remains free pending further proceedings in his case.
Officials said that on June 2, Hackett and Olsen were in a vehicle — which was under surveillance — that stopped near a composting facility at the north perimeter of the prison between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
“After the vehicle left, investigators checked the area and found several black plastic bags with colored balloons inside, containing marijuana and tobacco,” according to a Walla Walla police report filed in court.
Hackett and Olsen were arrested the following day after they arrived at the prison to visit inmate Jarred T. Many, who is Olsen’s son.
In the vehicle, authorities said, were the same types of bags located at the composting facility.
They believe Many was the intended recipient of the contraband. Apparently no correctional officers were involved in the scheme.
The discovery was the culmination of an investigation that began in April involving monitored phones calls between Olsen and Many, as well as other information investigators received, according to the police report.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.