Aaron L. Vieyra
Pamela G. Steeby
Sophia M. Boe
Dustin L. Dowhower
Former North Platte firefighter Aaron Vieyra pleaded guilty Monday to amended charges of two counts of attempted distribution of cocaine.
Vieyra was one of four drug suspects to face the Lincoln County District Court Monday.
Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling requested a pre-sentence investigation and defense attorney Russ Jones agreed.
Lincoln County District Judge Donald Rowlands set sentencing for Dec. 3.
Vieyra was one of nine people charged on May 26, 2011 for drug offenses, following an extensive investigation by cooperating law enforcement officers from several jurisdictions.
Six men from North Platte were arrested and charged. Vieyra was initially charged with two counts of distribution of cocaine.
Vieyra has been out of jail on bond since June 3, 2011, when he paid 10 percent of $100,000.
Pamela Gayle Steeby, 47, of North Platte was sentenced to one-and-a-half to 3 years in the York Correctional Facility for women for attempted distribution of methamphetamine.
She was initially charged with distribution, but the charge was amended to attempted distribution in a plea bargain with the Lincoln County Attorney’s Office.
Steeby met a State Patrol confidential informant on Aug. 8, 2011 to arrange to buy meth.
Prosecutors said Steeby made a phone call and set up the deal. She and the informant went to a mobile home at 2300 East Philip, Lot #19 to make the deal.
Following an investigation, Steeby was jailed for nearly a month, but was released on April 24 on her own recognizance.
Defense attorney Pat Hays asked the court for county jail time. Hays said Steeby has had a lot of mental and medical issues and county jail time would make it easier to get help with those issues.
Hays told Rowlands that his client fell out of the bed at the jail and broke her hip, adding to her problems. Hays also said that a lot of her troubles came from choosing the wrong people to associate with.
But County Attorney Rebecca Harling said Steeby “should go to the penitentiary just like everyone else.”
Harling also said Steeby “has a long history of trouble with the law and she always tries to use excuses of mental and medical issues. York would be the best place to deal with those.”
Before handing down the sentence, Rowlands noted that Steeby had “prior convictions in county courts dating back to 2003, again in 2004, and several in 2006 for which you served jail time.”
“You have been convicted of aiding and abetting, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia,” Rowlands said. “You have had three chances at probation from the county courts and it hasn’t worked.”
In other drug cases:
Sophia Boe, 26, of North Platte pleaded not guilty to charges of robbery, tampering with a witness and possession of amphetamine with intent to deliver.
Defense attorney Robert Harvoy told Rowlands the Boe is on a waiting list for treatment. Harvoy requested a continuation so she could get into a treatment center, and he also asked for a bond reduction to $25,000.
Harling objected to the bond reduction.
“I’m concerned there is a public safety issue,” Harling said.
Boe was implicated in drug offenses in July and arrested in late August after she was seen shoplifting at a north side Kwik Stop. Police found her hiding in a house in the 2600 block of Anna.
Harling pointed out that Boe’s tampering charge was because she had assaulted a teen that was a witness in a case against her brother.
Rowlands granted the continuance, lowered bond to $75,000 and said he would release Boe on her own recognizance to go to treatment, but stipulated that she would have to be taken there by sheriff’s deputies.
Dustin Dowhower, 21, of North Platte pleaded not guilty to possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver.
Defense attorney Pat Hays asked for a status hearing and a bond reduction.
Lincoln County Attorney Rebecca Harling objected to a bond reduction saying, “This could have been a child abuse case because there were minors involved.”
Dowhower, 21, was found in late July with methamphetamine and unspecified items used in selling meth. He was linked at that time to Sophia Boe.
Investigators traced him after a tip about drug activity among juveniles, according to a police spokesman.
Police said that Dowhower also had prescription pills but no prescription. He was jailed and his bond set at $100,000, which was later reduced to $75,000.
Rowlands set a status hearing for Nov. 5 and denied a further bond reduction.