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Drug Treatment Ordered for Woman

An addiction to painkillers lured a Centreville woman into crime, and now she's paying for it in three counties. She's already been sentenced for prescription fraud in Arlington and Fairfax counties and, next month, she'll be sentenced in Loudoun, too.

She's Kimberly Jackson, 33, of 14647 Seasons Drive and, on June 12 in Circuit Court before Judge Terrence Ney, she pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining drugs by fraud. But when she returned last Friday for sentencing, she'd acquired a third count.

"This defendant came before you and pleaded guilty to prescription fraud," Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Kimberly Pace told Ney. "And when she got [released on] bond [afterward], she made a phone call for another forged prescription. [She] clearly has a serious problem with drug addiction."

Fairfax County police Det. J. Daryl Evans began investigating, Feb. 22, after police received a complaint about someone trying to obtain a controlled substance by fraud at a CVS Pharmacy in Falls Church.

It turned out to be Jackson, who'd picked up and paid for Lortab (Hydrocodone) there under a false name. But she was stopped and arrested as she tried to leave the store.

Further investigation revealed that she'd identified herself to two different pharmacists as someone else so she could get medication. Police then charged her with two counts of obtaining drugs by fraud.

The pharmacy's records also showed that eight other times in January and February, Jackson had obtained Hydrocodone using yet another person's name. A Feb. 27 police search of her townhouse off Stone Road and Route 29 yielded numerous bottles of pills and a doctor's prescription pad.

A small woman, with long brown hair cascading down her back in braided cornrows, Jackson appeared before Ney on Friday in the red jumpsuit of a county jail trustee. She listened intently as Pace told him of the two-month jail sentence she'd received, Sept. 20, in Arlington, for a March 1 prescription fraud.

Then her attorney Andrew Kersey mentioned her upcoming sentencing in Loudoun for crimes in March and May. Said Ney: "She's continuing to get herself in a fix with these drugs."

But noting her trustee status, Kersey said Jackson had changed in the 3 1/2 months she'd been in jail since June. "She obviously knows she desperately needs treatment," he said. Since Ney intended to order her into a drug-treatment program, Kersey said she wanted to be home with her family, instead of in jail, while awaiting a placement.

But Pace argued against it. "The [sentencing] guidelines call for probation," she told the judge. "But I ask you to go outside them and order a bed-to-bed transfer to a residential treatment program with drug counseling. She can't be trusted to be out on the streets prior to getting [this] treatment."

Jackson then stood and spoke. "My state of mind and ability to make decisions were hindered," she explained. "Today I stand before you with a clear head. I know what it's like to be in jail, and my number-one priority today is to remain clean and sober ... with the love and support of my family."

Replied Ney: "In many cases, the light always seems to be seen when the person [to be sentenced] is standing before me. Then, when I accept that, it's amazing — when they walk out of this courtroom and out of the Adult Detention Center — how quickly they return [to their old ways]."

Still, he told Jackson, "I'm willing to give you that opportunity, in the fervent hope that I won't be disappointed. But if things don't go as I outline them, then you'll be back here again." He then sentenced her to five years in prison on each of her three charges, ran the sentences concurrently and suspended all of that time. A week earlier, Arlington Judge Paul Sheridan had sentenced Jackson to three years, suspending all but 60 days, and Ney made that time count toward his sentence.

He also placed Jackson on two years supervised probation, provided she immediately enrolls in a residential drug-treatment program. "If there's a slip-up, we're going to be back here before you know it — and it's not going to go very well, at all," said Ney. "You're young; you have an opportunity to live the rest of your life, but only ... if you put your drug addiction behind you."

Kersey said Jackson suffered a knee injury, a few years ago, and got addicted to pain medicine. When her doctor cut her off, she was hooked. "It illustrates the downward spiral of addiction," he said. "She definitely realizes the seriousness of these matters and that her life is at stake." Jackson will be sentenced for two more prescription-fraud offenses, Nov. 12, in Loudoun.