Woman sent to prison on drug trafficking charges

On June 25, Rachel Lewallen, age 25, was sentenced to serve a term of 12-30 months in prison after pleading no contest to trafficking in a controlled substance level one, a category B felony.  

According to the charging document, Lewallen was found to be in possession of methamphetamine greater than four grams but less than 14 grams on August 30, 2018 in Winnemucca. 

She has been in custody of the Humboldt County Detention Center since March 28, 2019 and was given credit for 90 days time served in the matter.   

Lewallen’s attorney, Alternate Public Defender Maureen McQuillan told the court that her client has a very limited criminal history, with the only outstanding charge being a traffic stop.

McQuillan said that Lewallen found herself addicted to methamphetamine for less than a year before deciding to get sober and take responsibility for her actions and asked the court to impose the minimum sentence.

“She (Lewallen) is fully aware of the mandatory sentence; she has a wonderful attitude, she’s positive, she’s sober and intends to stay that way and intends to do counseling,” said McQuillan. “This was a bad chapter and she intends to move forward.”

Deputy District Attorney Richard Haas also recommended the minimum mandatory sentence in the matter considering her minimal criminal history. 

Lewallen told the court that in her time in custody she had a lot of time to reflect on past years’ choices and asked the court to consider her lack of criminal history and that she decided to get sober two months prior to this arrested. She asked the court for the ability to seek treatment to be back home with her children. 

“I know for a fact that I will stay clean, it was a horrible mistake and I lost my kids and I’m doing everything I can to get them back,” said Lewallen. “I’ve been clean for five months now.” 

Sixth Judicial District Court Judge Michael Montero reviewed a character support letter submitted to the court by Lewallen’s brother and made an observational comment of the case and prior court proceedings. Montero also reminded Lewallen that this was a case in which there is a mandatory prison sentence and he is legally unable to give her the ability to seek treatment in any kind of diversion program or probation.  

“I find a lot of irony today in the fact that the individual you were with at the time of the arrest is no longer appearing in the courtroom in your support,” said Montero. “It’s been a troubling aspect of this for me as a judge from day one; although I have seen him in the past, I notice he is not present today.” 

Lewallen was sentenced to serve 12-30 months in prison with credit for time served of 90 days along with a $500 fine (mandatory fine per statute), $153 DNA collection and analysis fee, $25 administrative assessment fee and $60 forensic fee. 

“I’m giving you a very light sentence for this offense for two reasons, your lack of criminal history and due to your age and your word that you’re going to make appropriate changes in your life with regard to substance use,” said Montero. “Good luck to you.”