WARSAW — A Cicero, Ill., woman who was transporting over 49 pounds of cocaine inside a suitcase in the truck of her car, received her sentence Monday, April 25, in Kosciusko Circuit Court. Judge Michael Reed stated it was not an easy decision for him to make in issuing the sentence.
Jennifer Ann Roehr, 22, 1233 S. 58th St., Cicero, Ill., received a four-year sentence to the Indiana Department of Corrections, on a charge of dealing cocaine, which through a plea agreement was reduced from a level 2 felony to a level 5 felony.
John Barrett, counsel for Roehr, noted this was her first serious offense and she qualified and was accepted for home detention. He also stated the rehabilitation offered by the DOC did not fit this case. He pointed out she had two children, ages 4 and 2, was at a low risk to re-offend, and had been employed.
“She didn’t understand what she was involved with was this serious,” said Barrett. He stated there was no harm to person or property in her actions. She is remorseful and regrets what occurred. “You will not see her (in court) again,” Barrett said.
“What we want the court to understand is how this happened. She is a single mother with a couple of kids working at McDonald’s in Cicero. She had the opportunity to make easy money … was surprised herself when she saw the quantity. She was asked to help an individual who gave her cash and a prepaid cell phone telling her to get rid of it after she delivered the suitcase. That person isolated himself at the expense of Miss Roehr.” Barrett noted the identity, address or location of that individual is unknown.
“A lot of what Mr. Barrett said is true,” said Reed. ” …. but what message would it send to others and the community? (should incarceration not take place) On the flip side, you were willfully ignorant. You didn’t want to know and chose not to know. You knew it was wrong, illegal from the get go. My problem is no harm to person or property. That’s true due to the interdiction. That amount of cocaine is a serious amount of harm to a serious amount of people. We can’t tolerate that kind of behavior. There is no such thing as easy money. If it is easy money, something is wrong. At the same time this is your first mistake, but it is a serious offense. I don’t know what is fair or unreasonable.”
While Roehr was noticeably distraught from the time she entered the courtroom until she was escorted from the courtroom to the county jail, she was able to tell the court she apologized to her children, her family, the court and for the court’s time. “I’m sorry,” she said.
“I wish you the best of luck,” Reed said sincerely.
The Traffic Stop
It was approximately 4:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, when a traffic stop was conducted for speeding in the area of US 30 and SR 15 by Warsaw Police Narcotics/Criminal Interdiction members.
During the investigation, with the assistance of narcotics K-9 Bubka, police located 41 packages that totaled just over 49 pounds of cocaine inside a suitcase in the trunk. Upon further investigation, the total weight of the narcotics was approximately 44 pounds or 20 kilograms.