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Woman gets state prison term on drug count

Published February 19. 2014 05:00PM

A Carbon County woman was sentencedto a state prison termTuesday.

Bethany Marie Neff, 26, of Lehighton, pleaded guilty before Judge Joseph J. Matika to one count of possession of a controlled substance-alprazolam (Xanax). She was arrested on July 10, 2013 by Nesquehoning police following an incident at the county prison.

Police were called to the prison after correction officers noticed several of the female inmates exhibiting signs of being under the influence of drugs. Neff was one of several female inmates arrested for using illegal substances in the prison.

It was learned one of the female inmates had brought the drugs into the prison and gave it to the others. Cases involving others involved are pending.

Neff admitted to a long-term heroin addiction that she said she has been battling for several years.

Matika noted she is facing a probation violation in Lehigh County and has several prior drug convictions.

He said Neff needed inpatient drug treatment and that could only occur in the state system.

Matika sentenced her to serve five to 12 months in a state prison and consecutive to the probation violation term she is serving in Lehigh County.

She was also ordered to get a drug and alcohol evaluation and follow any recommendation for treatment, zero tolerance imposed on D&A use, and when released on parole render 50 hours of community service.

She was given credit for 47 days already spent in jail on the charge. Matika noted that if Neff can get placement in an inpatient, long-term drug program within 10 days he would consider amending his sentence to let her enter the program rather than go to a state prison.

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