Five women accused of crimes appeared Monday in Lincoln County District Court, including Jennifer K. Davis of Hershey, who is accused of meth distribution.
Davis is facing federal charges for her role in the alleged distribution, Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling told the court.
Davis was arrested on Sept. 21 along with her domestic partner, Roman Reyes, 33.
Harling said Davis has been federally indicted already, but the paperwork has not yet arrived in Lincoln County, perhaps because of the government shutdown.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to the couple’s home in Hershey on Sept. 21 to help probation officers search the place, and the search turned up “a large amount of suspected methamphetamine,” the sheriff’s office said.
Davis has been in the Lincoln County jail since her arrest, held on bonds totaling $200,000.
In court Monday, Defense Attorney Martin Troshynski asked for more time to prepare the defense case. Troshynski made the request just before Harling announced the federal indictment.
Davis will remain in jail for now.
Lincoln County District Judge Michael Piccolo told Davis to return to court on Feb. 11, if she hasn’t been transported elsewhere to face federal charges.
Jennifer Smith also appeared Monday to face charges of racketeering and money laundering. Smith pled not guilty to the charges in April, and a slow-moving deposition and evidence-gathering process got underway.
Smith, the former director of the North Platte Housing Authority, could also face federal charges. She was allegedly linked in a money laundering scheme with people in Missouri, other states, as well as someone in Jamaica.
Deputy Lincoln County Attorney Kortnei Hoeft told the court that the deposition process of the case is “at the point of experts” witnesses – often the most expensive and extensive part of the process.
Defense Attorney David Tarrell of Lincoln said he was also under the impression that federal charges could be filed against Smith, but he noted that hasn’t happened yet.
Smith faces two counts of racketeering, theft of more than $5,000, unauthorized use of a financial transaction device for more than $5,000, and aiding a felony.
Piccolo allowed more time for depositions, and ordered Smith to return to court on March 25, when he will hear a report on the status of evidence gathering.
In other court proceedings, Cassandra Foster of North Platte was convicted of abuse of a vulnerable adult, plus two counts of third-offense shoplifting.
Foster was sentenced to 280 days in jail on each charge and ordered to pay $7,583.35 in restitution.
Foster, 35, abused an 85-year-old woman between March-September in 2017 by making 25 unlawful transactions from her bank account, as well as a cash withdrawal of $5,000, prosecutors said.
She pled no contest to the charges, keeping an agreement worked out by Defense Attorney Bronson Malcom of Cozad that dismissed three pending felony charges.
The shoplifting took place on Dec. 2. 2017 and again on June 1, prosecutors said.
Foster has been in jail for four months since she was arrested.
Malcom said his client understands the seriousness of the charges and realizes the need to make restitution.
Lincoln County District Judge Richard Birch allowed the jail sentences to be served at the same time, and added 12 months’ supervised probation after Foster gets out of jail.
She was also ordered to pay court costs in three other cases that were dismissed. She received credit for 144 days she’s already served.
Also, Kari Anne Bock, who is accused of child pornography, will be temporarily released from jail on her own recognizance.
Bock is currently held on a $250,000 bond.
Defense Attorney Blaine Gillett asked for the unusual step. He said Bock is cooperating in another case in eastern Nebraska and needs to be out of jail so she can travel and testify. He could not say how long it might take.
Piccolo granted the PR bond, but ordered Bock to not have any contact with any person of either gender if they are younger than 14 years old. Also, Bock cannot use a computer or a cell phone, or her bond will be revoked and she will return to jail.
Piccolo ordered her to return to district court on March 11 for a review of the status of her case.
Also, Brandi Dukes of North Platte was convicted of meth distribution.
Dukes pled no contest to the charge.
Dukes was incarcerated on Oct. 22. She sold meth twice in May to an undercover buyer, according to a court affidavit. Piccolo set her sentencing on March 25.