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Mom gets 5 years for stealing education

Feb. 23, 2012 at 7:38 PM

NORWALK, Conn., Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A Connecticut woman has been sentenced to five years in prison for drug charges and sending her son to school outside the town in which she lived.

Tanya McDowell, 34, pleaded guilty Wednesday to first-degree larceny by defrauding a public community under the Alford doctrine, and three counts of selling drugs to undercover police officers in Norwalk, The Connecticut Post of Bridgeport reported. She said she did not steal her son's education, but agreed she would probably be convicted if she went to trial.

McDowell was sentenced to 12 years in jail, which would be suspended after she serves five years, and five years probation.

She pleaded guilty this month to two counts of selling drugs to undercover officers in Bridgeport and is scheduled to be sentenced to as much as five years in jail March 27 for those charges. As part of the plea bargain, McDowell would be able to serve both sentences concurrently.

Police arrested McDowell in April for sending her 6-year-old son to a Norwalk elementary school while living in Bridgeport. She said she was living out of her van at the time and wanted a good education for her son, the Post reported

"You shouldn't be arrested for stealing a free education," she said. "It's just wrong."

She was then arrested in June for selling drugs to Norwalk undercover officers in Norwalk and Bridgeport on five separate occasions, the Post said.

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