Using car for drug deal nets 5-year prison term for Morgan City woman

16th Judicial Court District

FRANKLIN -- A Morgan City woman was sentenced here on Sept. 9 to five years in prison after pleading guilty to unauthorized use of a vehicle stemming from a June 13 arrest for taking a victim’s vehicle to Gibson to buy drugs.
Melanie Rink, 39, made the plea before 16th Judicial District Judge Edward Leonard Jr.
Rink told Morgan City police she had taken a 2006 Mustang to Gibson to purchase illegal narcotics without the permission of the owner, but thought the owner would be OK with it, the arrest report said. While she was there another woman took the victim’s car and never returned it, stranding Rink in Gibson until she could get a ride back to her Sixth Street Morgan City residence, the report said.
Rink also confessed to having made four unauthorized charges on the victim’s access card, according to the report.
Morgan City police said the car has been recovered.
The plea agreement called for the district attorney not to prosecute Rink on the theft by unauthorized use of an access card charge.
Court records show Rink has had other drug and theft arrests and received a first-time offender’s pardon in 2010 for forgery.
Gia Dardeau, 29, of Berwick was given a three year suspended sentence after she was found to be in possession of drugs when she was arrested for breaking into her former Neptune Drive apartment in Bayou Vista to retrieve personal items she feared would be set out with the trash.
Leonard sentenced Dardeau to 60 days in jail and a $1,000 fine after she pleaded guilty to remaining where forbidden for entering the apartment after being evicted. That sentence runs concurrent with the drug sentence.
Leonard told Dardeau she could have been sentenced up to five years for having four prescription pills in her possession when she was arrested that were wrapped in plastic paper without a prescription.
Ivory Fine, 25, of Franklin pleaded guilty to two counts of simple burglary. He was sentenced to three years of prison on each count with each sentence running concurrently.
Fine admitted to breaking into a 2011 BMW sedan on Sept. 28, 2012, and stealing some of the victim’s belongings, court documents state. He admitted to a similar burglary three days later of a 2006 Chevrolet Explorer, the documents state.
Entry into both vehicles was accomplished through breaking the windows, but in the process Fine had left blood samples for police to test, according to the arrest reports. Police said the DNA profiles of the blood samples matched Fine’s DNA.
Freeman Herbert, 29 of New Iberia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and was put on supervised probation for three years after being given a suspended sentence of three years in jail. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine along with other associated court costs and told he must pay $1,000 restitution to the victim.
Herbert’s charge was a reduction from the original charge of simple robbery, which carries a penalty of up to seven years imprisonment.
Herbert admitted in court that he had conspired with two other people to rob a victim during an encounter at a bar shortly after midnight on March 2, 2012.
The police report of the incident said that video evidence showed Herbert grabbed the victim as he and the other two men walked outside with the victim. The report said the victim was robbed of his wallet, personal property and more than $800 in cash.

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