A Chesterton woman who has admitted selling crack cocaine while accompanied
by her children has been sentenced to four years in the Indiana Department
Andrea Lashon Coleman, 34, who at the time of her arrest was residing in the
1900 block of Cory Lane in the Rose Hill Estates subdivision, was sentenced
on Tuesday by Porter Superior Court Judge Mary Harper.
Coleman was originally charged with three counts of dealing cocaine, two of
them Class A felonies punishable by a term of 20 to 50 years and one of them
a Class B felony punishable by a term of six to 20 years. She was also
charged with neglect of a dependent, a Class C felony punishable by a term
of two to eight years.
Under the plead-and-argue agreement, the two Class A felony counts were both
dismissed and her time in the DOC capped at five years. On Tuesday, Harper
sentenced Coleman to eight years on the Class B felony, with four years
suspended; and to four years on the Class C felony, with all of the time
suspended. Harper, per the plea agreement, ordered both sentences to run
Coleman, accordingly, has an effective prison term of four years, with the
eight years after her release to be served on formal probation.
In her sentencing order, Harper made note of one aggravating factor, namely,
that the probable cause affidavit cites multiple cocaine sales, including
two eligible for Class A felony charges.
Harper also made note of three mitigating factors: Coleman admitted her
guilt; incarceration will pose a hardship to her three children; and she has
no prior criminal history.
Coleman’s husband, Jerry Coleman, 40, also charged, is facing a maximum term
of 14 years under a plea agreement. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept.
Charges were filed against the Colemans in April 2012, after the Porter
County Drug Task Force (DTF) arranged with a confidential informant (CI) to
make four separate purchases of crack cocaine from the Colemans, between
April 5 and April 24. The total amount of cocaine purchased in those sales,
according to the probable cause affidavit filed by DTF Coordinator Bob
Taylor: 11 grams, on which the CI spent a total of $1,120. All purchases
were made at the Family Express at 1681 Pioneer Trail, across from the then
WiseWay Foods, Taylor stated in his affidavit.
Andrea Coleman made two of the sales, Taylor stated, on April 11 and April
24, and on both occasions “she had three children in the car.”
Jerry Coleman made the other two, on April 5 and April 17, Taylor said.
After the sale on April 24, DTF executed a search warrant at their
residence, where it is believed Jerry Coleman flushed crack cocaine down the
toilet. Agents “tested the toilet water and it tested positive for cocaine,”
Taylor stated. Also found at the residence: a pan used to “cook” rock
cocaine, “which also tested positive.”
“From documents seized during the search, it is believed that neither Andrea
nor Jerry Coleman had any source of income apart from dealing crack cocaine
and laundering drug proceeds via debit cards,” Taylor stated. “From
additional evidence gained during the investigation, it appeared that the
Colemans also traded crack cocaine for items that had been stolen.”