The Idaho Supreme Court has rejected a local woman’s attempt to have her conviction for possession of major contraband within a correctional facility overturned.
Nicole Lyn Gneiting was arrested in Idaho Falls in January 2018 after police searched a hotel room she said she had been visiting and found marijuana and pills. According to the background information included in the court ruling, Gneiting denied having any more drugs on her person, but she was strip-searched at Bonneville County Jail, where authorities found more than 31 grams of methamphetamine on her person, leading to additional charges for felony methamphetamine trafficking and drug possession within a correctional facility.
Gneiting was tried and convicted in October 2018. She argued on appeal she didn’t voluntarily commit the crime of possessing major contraband within a correctional facility since she had been brought there against her will, an argument the court rejected in a ruling issued Wednesday.
“Gneiting’s presence in the county jail was no doubt involuntary,” says the ruling. “She was arrested and transported to the jail against her will. However, Gneiting’s possession of methamphetamine within the jail was nonetheless voluntary because she made the choice to continue possessing it after being given multiple opportunities to rid herself of it.”
Gneiting was sentenced to a total of 15 years in state prison, with four years fixed, on the trafficking and possession within a correctional facility charges, although the fixed portion was reduced to three-and-a-half years after the Seventh Judicial District court partially granted a motion requesting leniency.