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Trials set for couple transporting meth in mail

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A Polson man entered a “no contest” plea at District Court in Polson on May 8 to the amended charge of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, which is a felony. 

Anthony “Tony” Friscia, 63, was initially charged with criminal possession with intent to distribute for allegedly bringing large amounts of methamphetamine into Polson.

In a “no contest” plea a defendant concedes the case based on state’s evidence. The plea was entered as part of a plea agreement the judge said would likely be rejected. 

According to charging documents, on Jan. 11, 2018, Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy Levi Read received information of suspicious activity, provided by a U.S. postal inspector. 

The inspector believed Friscia and his wife Mary Katherine Friscia, 48, both contracted rural postal workers, had received a package containing drugs and that they diverted the package during their shift. 

Read located Friscia while he was delivering mail. The suspected package was addressed to a 101-year-old Polson man and was delivered to a storage unit. Another law enforcement officer confirmed the package was not delivered to the labeled address, but the U.S. mail system GPS scanner unit indicated the package was delivered.

Deputy Read asked Friscia where the drugs were located, and Friscia consented to a search of his garage and gave the deputy a quarter-pound of methamphetamine and a handgun. A search warrant was obtained by law enforcement and more meth was located along with a scale, several firearms and drug paraphernalia.

Lake County Chief Deputy Attorney James Lapotka says the plea agreement calls for sentencing to be deferred for three years. District Judge James Manley said he would likely reject the plea agreement based on the seriousness of the charge. He set sentencing for June 12. Friscia’s public defender Lisa Kaufman indicated that the agreement is appropriate due to her client’s stage-four cancer diagnosis.

Mary Friscia is facing the same charge as her husband. Her case is set for trial on June 24 before District Judge Deborah”Kim” Christopher. Both suspects are at liberty on their own recognizance.

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