PLATTSMOUTH – A Cass County woman will spend two years on probation for storing nearly two pounds of marijuana inside a metal safe in her home.
Heather R. Ball, 34, appeared in Cass County District Court Tuesday morning for a sentencing hearing. She pled no contest in July to one Class IV felony charge of possession of marijuana-more than one pound.
Ball was arrested in late January at her home near the intersection of 190th Street and Havelock Avenue northwest of Eagle. Nebraska state probation officials went to her house for a routine visit and discovered drug paraphernalia there. They called Cass County Sheriff’s Office deputies to the scene to conduct a thorough search of the property.
Deputy County Attorney Richard Fedde told the court authorities discovered a metal safe that belonged to a man who was inside the residence at the time. Deputies found five packages of marijuana inside the safe. The total weight of the items was 1.8 pounds. Fedde said Ball admitted to deputies that she owned the marijuana.
Fedde told the court Tuesday that Ball had committed three driving under the influence offenses during the past 15 years. She was on probation in Lancaster County for her third offense when the current Cass County marijuana case happened. Her probation was revoked and she served a 270-day jail sentence.
Fedde said the state would not be opposed to probation because Ball had taken several steps toward rehabilitation since January. She completed seven months of intensive outpatient treatment and finished an aftercare treatment program.
Defense attorney Mark Rappl told the court Ball had been a law-abiding citizen since the January incident. He also said she had learned a great deal from her experience in the Lancaster County corrections system.
“She had never done jail time like that before,” Rappl said. “That low point in her life gave her the motivation to seek treatment.”
Judge Michael Smith told Ball he would issue a probation sentence because she had made positive strides in her treatment efforts. Ball will serve 24 months of probation. She must abstain from alcohol and drugs, pay all court costs and follow all recommendations of her continuing outpatient treatment program.