AUGUSTA — A city woman involved in an incident involving gun shots being fired at the Walmart parking lot in June 2016 is heading to prison for four years for selling cocaine base this summer while on probation.

Samantha Tupper, 26, saw the remaining portion of her eight-year sentence suspended while she spends three years on the new probation.

The sentence was imposed after Tupper pleaded guilty Tuesday at the Capital Judicial Center to one count of aggravated trafficking in cocaine base, which occurred July 27, 2017, in Augusta.

The prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley, said Tupper sold a gram of cocaine directly to an undercover officer.

Sibley said the new charge was classified as aggravated trafficking because of Tupper’s prior conviction not because of the amount involved.

She said Tupper “committed nearly the identical crime” for which she was on probation.

The judge also ordered Tupper to serve a concurrent 36 months behind bars for violating her prior probation. He terminated that probation and asked the prosecutor why she should be put on another probation.

Sibley also told Judge Eric Walker that Tupper needed to be on probation again.

“She has to be held accountable for her conduct, but at the same time she needs to be given the tool to rehabilitate,” Sibley said. “Probation should give her those tools.

Sibley said it was “well-established that Tupper has struggled for a long period of time with substance abuse issues.”

Tupper’s attorney, Lisa Whittier, asked that the mandatory $400 fine be suspended since Tupper is facing a long period of incarceration and already owes the court some $2,000 in fines. Walker agreed to suspended the new fine and told Tupper he hoped she could be rehabilitated and would not have to appear in criminal court again.

Tupper was one of four people arrested after shots were exchanged June 26, 2016, between people in two cars in the Augusta Walmart parking lot in what police said was a dispute over money owed for drugs.

No one was shot but the fracas brought a number of charges against the individuals involved.

Police say Tupper picked up another individual involved, Reginald McBride, on Mount Vernon Avenue and drove him to Walmart that day. After two bystanders, both legally armed with guns, broke up the shooting, she drove him back to her residence in Augusta where police found them. Tupper later pleaded no contest and was convicted of hindering apprehension of McBride. She was sentenced to five months in jail concurrent to a nine-month probation revocation.

Tupper had pleaded guilty in May 2016 to unlawful trafficking in cocaine and was sentenced to an initial 45 days in jail with the remainder of her four-year sentence suspended while she spent two years on probation. She was on that probation when the aggravated trafficking occurred.

McBride, now 40, of Harlem, New York, was indicted on federal firearms and drugs charges in connection with the Walmart incident, and his case is set for trial next month in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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Twitter: @betadams