A Durango woman was sentenced to eight years at a community corrections program Friday after pleading guilty to two counts of identity theft.
Sandra Morris, who has spent the last 151 days at La Plata County Jail, will serve her sentence at Hilltop House in Durango.
Morris’ public defense lawyer argued for the sentence, saying the structure and surveillance that a community correction sentence entails would help Morris battle her substance abuse. He said she does well when she is not under the influence of methamphetamine.
District Judge Todd Norvell told Morris he was reluctant to go along with the plea agreement. He said this would be her last chance and will send her to prison if she re-offends.
“If you get removed, the result won’t be good,” he said.
Norvell said he was concerned about the message the sentence sends, but he wanted to give Morris a chance.
“If I don’t give you the chance, I wonder whether I’ll be making things worse,” he said.
Morris has criminal cases dating to 2013 related to identity theft. She was sentenced to prison in one of those cases but was released early and put on probation by a judge in 2015. During that probation period, she picked up two new cases for the same crimes she committed in 2013.
Morris has a history of stealing mail, credit card information and people’s personal information to create fraudulent accounts to obtain goods.
According to court documents, she has stolen personal information from fellow employees at Denny’s Restaurant and possibly Applebee’s to open credit accounts at Amazon.com, American Express, Home Shopping Network, Kohl’s Department Store, Lowe’s, Victora’s Secret, Walmart and others.
She used the deceptive accounts to purchase everyday items, such as children’s clothing, cooking pots, jewelry, perfume, and a satin kimono.