Judge asks for more information to sentence cocaine dealer

December 17, 1993|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

The Carroll County judge considering whether to send a woman convicted twice on cocaine-distribution charges to drug treatment instead of to jail for 10 years has asked her attorney to give him more options.

In a letter written Monday, Judge Francis M. Arnold told Diane Lynn Wisner's attorney: "At this point, I am not satisfied with the alternatives presented to the court. . . . I would request that you contact a [treatment] program . . . and make inquiries as to how arrangements could be made."

On Dec. 2, Wisner, 34, of the 3500 block of Littlestown Pike in Union Mills, asked Judge Arnold to let her receive inpatient drug treatment and spare her a possible minimum mandatory term of 10 years without parole.

Prosecutors are asking the court to impose that penalty under the so-called "two-time loser" statute.

Wisner's request was made under a little-used provision of the multiple offender statute that gives judges discretion in sentencing drug addicts.

Judge Arnold could impose the 10-year sentence or he can order Wisner to undergo extensive drug treatment and, at its conclusion, could decide whether she should serve any time behind bars.

In his letter to Judith S. Stainbrook -- Wisner's lawyer -- he made it clear he had not decided.

"Although I am not committing myself to any particular action in this case, if you wish me to consider a program . . . please submit this to me within 30 days," he wrote.

Ms. Stainbrook said she would look into treatment programs and provide her findings to Judge Arnold. Assistant State's Attorney Barton F. Walker III, who is opposed to the drug treatment, wouldn't comment.

Wisner has served about 11 months in state prison on a two-year sentence Judge Arnold gave her for possession with intent to distribute cocaine last year.

She was convicted by a Carroll jury in July in the case Judge Arnold is now considering.

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