MISSOULA — A Missoula woman entered guilty pleas in District Court on Tuesday for her part in a botched drug sting that resulted in the shooting of an undercover police officer last November.
Jazmine Beehler, 22, is accused of conspiracy to commit robbery and criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.
Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks explained the pleas are part of a deal with Beehler’s attorney. In exchange for her admission of guilt, Beehler will receive a 10-year commitment to the Department of Corrections with five years suspended at her Aug. 5 sentencing.
She is in the Missoula County jail pending $150,000 bail.
Her co-defendant, Joshua L. Robinson, who is accused of shooting the officer, faces felony charges of attempted deliberate homicide and robbery. He is slated to stand trial July 23 and is also behind bars on $250,000 bail.
According to court documents, Beehler and co-defendant Rachelle Jo Kolden successfully sold methamphetamine to an undercover police officer in October and November. The undercover officer, who was working for the High Intensity Drug Task Force, arranged another drug sale in the parking lot of Gold’s Gym on South Reserve Street on the afternoon of Nov. 27, the day before Thanksgiving.
But instead of selling five to six eight balls – one-eighth ounces of meth – to the undercover officer, the four concocted a plan to rob him, court documents state.
None of the defendants knew the man was a law enforcement officer.
Prior to the shooting, Kolden drove Beehler, Robinson and Justin Michael Holdstheenemy, the fourth defendant in the case, to the Gold’s Gym parking lot. The men got out of the car while Kolden drove Beehler away from the area.
The women were allegedly going to wait for a phone call from Robinson and Holdsthenemy following the robbery.
Robinson and Holdstheenemy met with the undercover officer at the prearranged spot, but the officer told the men he would only work with one of them. Robinson allegedly sat down in the car with Holdstheenemy’s gun to conduct the transaction, while Holdsthenemy walked away.
Robinson acted like he was pulling the drugs out of his bag, but instead pulled out a gun. The undercover officer also pulled out a gun and both were hit in an exchange of gunfire. Neither suffered life-threatening injuries. Robinson was immediately taken into police custody.
Holdsthenemy said he heard five shots and took off running before calling his female accomplices. They picked him up in their car, but the trio was apprehended by police a short while later.
Holdsthenemy received 10 years, with five suspended, with the Department of Corrections in April. Kolden maintains her innocence and has not revoked her not guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to commit robbery and the distribution of dangerous drugs.