Former skating star Nicole Bobek appeared before a judge at the Hudson County Court House on Wednesday to face a charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, a controlled and dangerous substance.
Arrested in Florida on June 19, 2009, extradited to New Jersey and indicted on a charge of second-degree conspiracy to distribute crystal meth, Bobek pled not guilty at her arraignment last October.
But at a hearing on June 16, Bobek pled guilty to an amended charge of third degree conspiracy to distribute the drug, said New Jersey assistant prosecutor Lisa Ledoux who is handling the cases listed under this indictment. A total of 20 people involved in the drug ring were indicted under one count of conspiracy to traffic.
“The top person knew everybody involved and the vast majority of those charged (more than two-thirds) have pled out,” Ledoux told IFS.
Bobek’s plea agreement permits the presiding judge discretion at her sentencing hearing, which is set for Aug. 5.
Ledoux said there are a number of sentencing options:
· Probation for 1-5 years
· Probation plus 354 days in a county jail
· Drug program/drug testing
· Three to five years in state prison system (this would be the maximum sentence handed down).
The fact that Bobek has no prior criminal record will be taken into account at the sentencing hearing. “Through our investigation of this case and through our conversations with people involved, part of the reason we believe she was involved was her own personal battle with drug addiction,” Ledoux said.
Because Bobek distributed drugs in New York she could not be charged with that offence in New Jersey. “That is why she was charged with conspiracy in our jurisdiction, ” Ledoux explained.
“She had telephone conversations with people and gave drugs to people who then sold them in New Jersey. That is her connection. But we believe the real reason was her own personal drug problem.”
Bobek attended the plea hearing on June 16 and has advised the court she will also attend the sentencing hearing in August. One of her bail conditions was that she reside with her family in Florida.
Ledoux said the time lapse between the plea hearing and the sentencing date will provide the prosecution time to obtain further information and submit a report for the judge’s consideration in advance of rendering a verdict.