An Oklahoma woman who received a 12-year prison sentence for selling $31 worth of marijuana to a police informant was jailed again this week over unpaid court fees.
The Washington Post reports that 34-year-old mother of six Patricia Spottedcrow was arrested for selling marijuana to an undercover informant back in 2010 when she was living with her mother in the small town of Kingfisher, Oklahoma.
Despite the fact that selling the marijuana was her first offense, she received a surprisingly harsh sentence of 12 years in jail. Local reporting from the Tulsa World newspaper drew attention to her case and sparked outrage that led to her being released from jail early.
This week, however, she found herself back in the clutches of the criminal justice system because she had not been able to afford the court fees that piled up during the lengthy legal battle over her case.
"Spottedcrow still owed thousands in court fees that she struggled to pay, since her felony conviction made it difficult to find a job," the Post reports. "Notices about overdue payments piled up, with late fees accumulating on top of the original fines. On Monday, the 34-year-old was arrested on a bench warrant that required her to stay in jail until she could come up with $1,139.90 in overdue fees, which she didn’t have."
The story has a somewhat happy ending, however, as local news station KFOR reports that anonymous donors paid off her court fees. She has since been released.