Was an Orange County Judge Too Harsh on a Methamphetamine Addict/Dealer?

Ableman: The Meth made me do it
Ableman: The Meth made me do it

Karen Dee Ableman might be the face of this nation's "war on drugs."

Ableman has five criminal drug convictions and, until recently, been sent to prison four times.

The incarcerations, though surely painful, weren't experiences painful enough to break her habit.

In 2008, the methamphetamine addict/dealer pleaded guilty to two more cases involving the sale and transportation of the nasty toothpaste.

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Though her co-defendant in that case is, according to federal court records, a member of the Romanian mafia in Southern California, Orange County Superior Court Judge Thomas M. Goethals was willing to give her a break that suspended a new 12-year prison sentence.

All Ableman had to do to keep Goethals generous deal was to stay clean for three years.

She couldn't do it.

In 2010--seven months before her probation period was set to end, authorities found her with a stash of meth. Goethals imposed the original 12-year prison sentence.

Ableman appealed. She believes that the prison order was unfair and that she should have been placed back on probation.

This week, a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana considered Albeman's complaint and, after noting that Goethals had been clear about the consequences of violating probation, rejected it.

Upshot: The 50-year-old remains locked inside the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla to serve her sentence.

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