By DON O'BRIEN
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
A Quincy woman was sent to the Illinois Department of Corrections for 3 1/2 years on Wednesday morning as the result of two separate felony charges.
Brandie M. Straube, 31, was set to be sentenced by Judge Scott Walden on a conspiracy charge, but also wound up pleading guilty and being sentenced on a drug charge. She was arrested on Aug. 17 for unlawful possession of a controlled substance and officially charged with that crime on Oct. 23.
After a short negotiation between First Assistant State's Attorney Gary Farha and Straube's lawyer, Denny Woodworth, Straube pleaded guilty to the drug charge in exchange for a sentencing cap of 3 1/2 years.
Straube was originally arrested in April after she texted a confidential informant to set up a firearm sale. She was out on probation at the time of the arrest on a 2010 narcotics charge. She was charged with conspiracy, and unlawful possession of weapons by a felon. Straube's initial plea agreement gave her a sentencing cap of three years on the charge with the possibility of parole. After the Wednesday negotiation prior to the sentencing, probation was taken off the table. She would face no more than 2 1/2 years on the conspiracy charge and a year on the drug charge. Since they were separate incidents, the sentences would have to be served consecutively.
Straube, who wept throughout the proceeding, admitted to having eight hydrocodone pills in her possession when she was arrested in August.
Walden gave Straube the maximum sentenced allowed by the plea agreement, which includes a year of mandatory supervised release once Straube has finished her DOC time.
"You have been on the top of your game before," Walden said, noting that Straube acquired a GED and worked as an EMT. "I hope you can solve your drug problem so you can get back to where you were and do even better."
Straube declined to address Walden prior to his judgement.