Hawaiian pleads guilty to mailing marijuana

December 17, 1992|By Staff Report

A woman who prosecutors said mailed pounds of marijuana to Carroll County from her home in Hawaii pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of drug distribution.

Laurel May Kohler, 34, was indicted by a Carroll County grand jury in September on two charges of marijuana distribution and one charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

In exchange for yesterday's guilty plea before Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr., prosecutors dropped one distribution charge and the conspiracy charge.

According to prosecutors, Kohler shipped 1-pound packages of marijuana from her home in Hilo to a person in Carroll County on at least three occasions this year. Two of those shipments were arranged through an undercover Carroll County Narcotics Task Force officer, who paid $1,000 each for the shipments.

Kohler surrendered to sheriff's deputies in November after flying to Baltimore from Hawaii. She was arrested and released on $10,000 unsecured bail. Since her arrest, she has been living with friends in Jessup. Her husband and two children are also expected to move to Maryland from Hawaii, her attorney, John B. Sorrell, said during yesterday's hearing.

Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III, who coordinates the drug task force, said Kohler "did the right thing by admitting her wrongdoing. She faced up to it, and decided to come clean."

He wished her luck as she left the courtroom.

"This shows the extent to which people in Carroll will go to get good-quality marijuana," Mr. Walker said after the hearing.

Kohler will be sentenced Feb. 18. She faces a maximum sentence of 15 years and a fine of $15,000, although that sentence is rarely imposed for first offenders.

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