March 27, 2011

Keri Blakinger ’11 Pleads Guilty to Heroin Charge

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Keri Blakinger ’11 pleaded guilty in February to third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance after admitting possession of more than four ounces of heroin. Under the plea agreement, Blakinger will likely be sentenced to two and a half years in prison at a sentencing hearing next month.

Third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, a felony, carries a maximum sentence of nine years.

Blakinger told police she planned to use some of the heroin and, along with “her associates,” planned to sell some of the heroin, according to court documents.

Blakinger was arrested on Dec. 19 after Ithaca Police were called to the 500 block of Stewart Avenue in response to a report of a suspicious person. When the police arrived at the scene, near the Hillside Inn, they identified that individual as the 26-year-old Blakinger.

Witnesses told police Blakinger was behaving nervously and possessed a plastic container, which she pushed under a nearby car when a police officer approached her. According to court documents, further investigation by police revealed the container held a significant amount of heroin.

Ithaca Police initially reported that almost six ounces of heroin was recovered, estimating the drug’s value at between $50,000 and $150,000. However, the plea agreement states that “more than four ounces” of heroin was found. It does not include an estimated value for the drugs.

Blakinger was originally charged with second degree criminal possession, which carries a greater minimum sentencing requirement. However, as part of Blakinger’s plea agreement, the charge was reduced to third degree possession.

Blakinger will be sentenced on April 8, Assistant District Attorney Andrew McElwee told Blakinger’s hometown newspaper, The Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Pa. McElwee could not be reached for comment last weekend.

Blakinger is a former Sun staff writer. She also previously served as editor of Red Letter Daze and features editor.

Original Author: Sun Staff