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Feds seek enhanced restrictions against meth ring ‘matriarch’

Federal officials are looking to clamp down on the release conditions for the “matriarch” of a regional methamphetamine distribution ring.

This ties back to 530 Hunter School Road in Grand Valley — known by law enforcement as “The Farm.”

Federal indictments were unsealed last fall charging a total of 16 individuals — several with county connections — in connection with the ring. All face sentences up to life in prison.

County Drug Task Force officials described Carina Tucker as the “matriarch” of the operation.

She was released from federal pre-trial custody back in October due to ongoing medical conditions

“(H)er medical condition has rendered her extremely weak. She is primarily home-bound and unable to perform many functions, including assisting in her defense,” her attorney asserted.

She was released to the supervision of U.S. probation officials on conditions including electronic monitoring and that she not contact anyone else associated with the case.

Federal probation officers have approached the court in a filing to further restrict those conditions.

They alleged that on Jan. 26 Tucker contacted a co-defendant in the case, Nicholas Barnes, and stated that she admitted to the conduct, claiming that they discussed the location of NA and AA meetings.

Officers then stated that they contacted the ex-wife of a co-defendant who is seeking bail in order to discuss a release plan.

“During the contact,” they allege, the ex-wife “indicated that Carina Tucker was at her house as recently as a week and a half ago. Further, she advised Ms. Tucker has been to her house multiple times since her release. Ms. Tucker never requested permission from her supervising officer to visit her former residence and, therefore, she was in violation of her conditions of home confinement.”

Probation officials are asking that her conditions be changed to “home detention” where she would be “restricted to (her) residence at all times except for employment; education; religious services; medical, substance abuse, or mental health treatment; attorney visits; court appearances; court-ordered obligations or other activities” approved by probation.

They’re asking the court to order that she “participate in a location-restricted program, specifically home detention, with global positioning system monitoring.”

A review of the technology indicates that electronic monitoring details when a defendant is in their home or not in their home, not their specific location. GPS will do that.

That will, they assert “will allow Pretrial Services to monitor the locations she is visiting, thereby enabling us to confirm she is in compliance….”

The court as of Thursday had yet to rule on the request.

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