Libby woman sentenced to eight years for drug crimes

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Sonja Anne Acton

A Libby woman, Sonja Anne Acton, 33, was sentenced to eight years with the Department of Corrections for criminal possession of dangerous drugs and the intent to distribute them.

Acton was originally arrested on Jan. 30, 2017, at the Libby train depot. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Detective Nate Scofield was waiting for Acton. Scofield had secured a search warrant for Acton and her luggage. When Scofield executed the search on Acton’s backpack he found large amounts of methamphetamine and heroin. Acton had allegedly traveled on the train to Everett, Washington, to pick up the illegal narcotics, got back on the train and returned to Libby all in the same day.

Acton was arrested again in June 2017 on two counts of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. Sheriff Roby Bowe conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that Acton was in with Justin Brickey, who is currently incarcerated in Lincoln County on numerous drug charges. When officers conducted a search of Acton, they found a half pound of methamphetamine and 1 ounce of heroin on her.

Acton’s last arrest was on Sept. 14, 2017, on one count of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony, and one count of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor. Acton was found at a residence where Probation & Parole Officer Darrel Vanderhoef was conducting a probation check on Hugh Andrew Shawgo, who was known to be living there. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Detective Brad Dodson detained Acton on an outstanding warrant. Dodson applied for and received a search warrant for a camper that was on the property. Inside the camper Dodson found Acton’s identification and drug paraphernalia, which included syringes, a broken meth pipe and pills. Multiple items consistent with drug use were found in the camper and seized.

According to the plea agreement between Acton and Lincoln County Attorney Marcia Boris, Acton pleaded guilty to one count of criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, a felony, and one count of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony. A pre-sentence investigation report was written by Montana State Adult Probation & Parole, which was consistent with the plea agreement.

Acton was sentenced to five years with none suspended to the Montana Department of Corrections for criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute, a felony, and three additional years, all suspended, for criminal possession of dangerous drugs, a felony. The sentences for both charges are to run consecutively. Judge Cuffe told Acton it was time to get treatment for her chemical dependency issues and that the sentence was consistent with the severity of the crime.

Acton is currently incarcerated at the Lincoln County Detention Center awaiting transfer to the Montana Department of Corrections.

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