AUGUSTA — A former Augusta woman whose car was caught on camera during a September burglary in West Gardiner and who had a bag of heroin in her bra at the jail was sentenced Tuesday to serve an initial nine months behind bars.

The remainder of the six-year sentence for Kristen N. Swift, 27, most recently of Lewiston, was suspended, and she was placed on probation for three years. Her first name is also spelled Kristin in some court documents.

A homeowner’s surveillance camera caught Swift and a man breaking into and stealing a laptop from a West Gardiner home on Sept. 18, 2015.

Then when Swift was arrested for a bail violation Oct. 14, 2015, police found crack cocaine and heroin at the 14 Orchard St., Augusta, home she was sharing with Joseph Oliveira Jr., 26, and several children.

After Swift was taken to the Kennebec County jail, a strip search there located 0.6 grams of heroin in her bra, the prosecutor said.

Swift pleaded guilty Tuesday at the Capital Judicial Center to burglary, theft, violating conditions of release, trafficking in prison contraband and unlawful possession of drugs as well as to a March 18, 2015, charge of violating a protective order.

Swift’s defense attorney, Pamela Ames, told Justice Michaela Murphy that the six-year sentence reflects the fact that charges of trafficking in cocaine and heroin are being dismissed.

“I know that this is high for a first offense,” Ames said. “The goal is to give her a county jail sentence.”

Ames said Swift has been held in Cumberland County jail.

“She’s been doing very well down there,” Ames told the judge. “She already has four months in and will get credit for time served.”

Oliveira also was in court on Tuesday. He pleaded guilty to operating after revocation and violating conditions of release, both occurring Sept. 15, 2015, in Augusta.

He was sentenced to 10 months in prison. According to the prosecutor, Oliveira was driving Swift’s vehicle at the time, and she was a passenger.

Oliveira’s attorney, Lisa Whittier, told the judge that Oliveria has pending drug charges.

In separate hearings also held Tuesday at the Capital Judicial Center, two people were sentenced on charges of defrauding the state’s welfare system.

• Robert Vear, 57, of Waterville, pleaded guilty to theft by deception, which occurred from May 1, 2009 to Feb. 28, 2015; and two counts of unsworn falsification, April 4, 2013, and April 5, 2014.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Gregg Bernstein, said Vear received $9,856 in benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program “by consistently representing he was living alone and the household had no income.” Bernstein said that Vear’s wife was living in the household and she was employed.

“If this was disclosed, he would not have been paid,” Bernstein said.

Vear was sentenced to two years in jail, with all but 60 days suspended, and two years of probation. He is to report to jail March 10 to begin serving the sentence. He also was ordered to pay $9,856 restitution.

• Sarah Mason, 35, of Clinton, pleaded guilty to theft by deception, which occurred July 2010 to September 2014, and to three counts of unsworn falsification, Dec. 4, 2012, June 3, 2013, and June 11, 2014.

She was ordered to pay $18,143 restitution.

Mason is to report to jail March 4 to begin serving the sentence.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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