A woman who spent nearly eight months in jail for after admitting she struck a man in a hit-and-run crash is back behind bars.
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Nicoll Koval's probation was revoked after San Diego County sheriff's deputies connected her to a scheme to smuggle drugs into the Las Colinas Jail.
At her arraignment Friday, Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon told the judge Koval and 40-year-old Sandra Lamm conspired to supply methamphetamine to inmates.
"It appears that they were using greeting cards, soaking them in a liquid form of methamphetamine," Runyan explained.
Authorities said the cards would then be dried out and sent to jail inmates. Inmates then use a heating agent to release the drugs from the cards, allowing the recipient to get high.
Both Koval and Lamm pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to smuggle drugs into a jail or prison.
Outside court, Koval's attorney indicated her client was "duped" when she was asked to share her phone card with other inmates. The card was allegedly used to make calls to outside contacts who mailed in the drug-infused greeting cards.
"It's not that she got out of custody and did some new crime," said attorney Gretchen von Helms. "That is absolutely not what occurred. What they're alleging is that while she was in jail doing her sentence, this other stuff was going on."
Von Helms claimed her client was taken advantage of by "more sophisticated felons."
"This really doesn't fit the image of who she is as a person," said von Helms, who added Koval has no prior drug history.
Koval was released from jail in January after serving nearly 8 months of a one-year sentence for a hit-and-run crash. In that case, she killed Albert Holman, who was walking on the freeway after his car had two flat tires. After hitting him, Koval went home and then turned herself in to police the next day.
Koval could now have to serve out the rest of her three-year sentence, and if convicted in the drug case she could get an additional four years in jail.
Her preliminary hearing is scheduled February 17.
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