California girl catches break

Stacy Michelle Breen’s “jaw dropped to the floor,” said her attorney, Teresa Ristenpart. The defendant’s shock stemmed from the lawyer’s revelation of a common ingredient in Ecstasy pills, methamphetamine.

Breen, 41, came to the 11th Judicial Court on Monday. She pleaded guilty to transporting 11 – 16 of the pills through the Black Rock Desert in August 2017. The tour operator and waitress traveled from California to attend Burning Man.

Deputy DA Todd Banks called the incident “a true anomaly in this defendant’s life.”

He compared Breen to others that detour from Burning Man to the hottest seat in the Pershing County courtroom.

“Like many of the individuals we see she’s led an exemplary life with no criminal history, but she could have left this county as a convicted felon,” said Banks.

Banks and Ristenpart negotiated a plea agreement. Breen pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. Her gross misdemeanor carried a potential sentence of 364 days in the Pershing County Jail, a $2000 fine or both. And, in lawyerspeak Banks declared the newer charge “probatable.”

“I’m sorry for what I did,” Breen told Judge Jim Shirley before he passed sentence. “I will never come in your courtroom again.”

The Judge sentenced Breen to one day in jail with one day’s credit for time served. She’ll pay a $2,000 fine and $238 in court costs.

Merck pharmaceutical company developed Ecstasy in 1912 as “MDMA.” They marketed it as a treatment for depression.

But modern forensic labs find Ecstasy among the least pure of all street drugs.

Today, the smiley-faced tablets contain a mixture of lab-created substances in place of MDMA. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), they also include cocaine, crack, heroin, bath salt, methamphetamine, rat poison, caffeine and dog deworming substances.