Woman sent to prison in drug smuggling case.

September 13, 2016
Rachelle Fitch with her attorney, Julie Springstead Waltz. Oceana County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Shari Sailor is pictured in the background.

Rachelle Fitch with her attorney, Julie Springstead Waltz. Oceana County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Shari Sailor is pictured in the background.

#OceanaCountyNews #CourtNews

By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART — A 44-year-old Hart woman who allegedly smuggled drugs inside her body into the Oceana County Jail that she stole from the adult foster care home where she was living was sentenced to one year and one day to 15 years in prison in 27th Circuit Court Monday, Sept. 12.

Rachelle Joyce Fitch received no credit for her jail time, because she was on parole at the time she committed the offense.

“I’m completely disheartened with the justice system,” said Fitch. “I can’t get treatment and now I’m being sent back to prison.” She said she has family support and will “continue to fight” her drug addiction problem.

Fitch pleaded “no contest” to larceny in a building. One count of furnishing contraband to prisoners was dismissed in a plea agreement.

Fitch had withdrawn her plea last July, and the matter was set for trial. But she then re-pleaded to the charge last month. She withdrew her plea because of the pending prison term and requested a jail term so she could undergo drug treatment.

Sentencing guidelines for her conviction were five to 46 months, said Judge Anthony A. Monton.

Her prison term will run consecutively to her sentences for which she was on parole in Mason County, Monton said.

Fitch allegedly smuggled drugs into the Oceana County Jail that she stole from the Fessenden AFC home, at 412 Hart St., by inserting nearly 70 pills inside her vaginal canal.

She broke into a locked medication cabinet where medications were stored at the AFC home. Fitch stole several items from other residents of the home, including a cell phone.

Fitch was lodged in the jail on a parole detainer after testing positive for opiates, according to the police report. When she became “lethargic and had trouble maintaining consciousness,” she was transported to Mercy Lakeshore Hospital in Shelby for a possible overdose, the report states.

“Fitch had smuggled in prescription medication into the jail via insertion of the pills into her vaginal canal,” the report states. The ER nurse found 69 total pills, including two capsules of temazepam, two pills of diazepam, 17 hydrocodone pills, nine morphine pills, 29 lorazepam pills and 10 oxybutynin pills wrapped in tissue paper inside her body.

Fitch was paroled April 19 after serving time for sentences issued in Mason County for possession of analogues and obtaining controlled substances by fraud, according to the Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS). She has served previous prison terms for possession of marijuana, possession of a narcotic or cocaine less than 25 grams and delivery/manufacture of cocaine less than 50 grams.

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