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Former UND student avoids jail time for selling drugs out of dorm room

Kelly Garrison

GRAND FORKS - A former University student who was arrested for selling drugs out of her dorm room will not spend time in jail after pleading guilty Friday.

Kelly Ara Garrison, 19, pleaded guilty to a felony charge for possession of LSD with the intent to sell. She was sentenced to two years of probation and 250 hours of community service as part of a plea agreement. The felony charge will drop from her record in two years if she successfully completes probation.

Assistant Grand Forks County State's Attorney Andrew Eyre said tipsters alerted campus police Garrison was selling drugs from her dorm room at Smith Hall and had advertised marijuana and adderall on Snapchat. A search of her room April 18 turned up marijuana, LSD, adderall and a pill bottle with an unknown white substance, according to court documents. She allegedly kept a pay/owe drug ledger, an affidavit for her arrest said.

Three initial drug-related charges were dismissed and Garrison could have faced a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine for the remaining felony charge.

Garrison's attorney, Blake Hankey, called her parents and a family friend to testify as character witnesses Friday. He said Garrison is a smart, young woman with a bright future ahead of her if she's able to earn a clean record.

Eyre said the charges should be taken seriously because Garrison was distributing hard drugs to college students.

District Court Judge Donald Hager said he's not ignorant about drug abuse on college campuses but is concerned that an increasing number of young people are selling drugs. He decided to defer Garrison's sentence so she can have a chance to turn her life around.