AUBURN — A Lewiston woman pleaded guilty Thursday to misusing an electronic benefits transfer card a year after being convicted of a similar crime.

Roberta Ishola, 52, of 116 Horton St. was given a suspended 180-day jail sentence on the misdemeanor charge and for violating the conditions of her release. Several drug charges were dismissed by prosecutors.

Ishola had been given a similar sentence a year earlier for similar activities. She will serve her new sentence at the same time as her older sentence.

She will remain on bail under administrative release for one year. Conditions of her release include no possession of illegal drugs, for which she can be searched and tested if their use is suspected by law enforcement.

Ishola had been scheduled to go to trial in Androscoggin County Superior Court this month on the charges, but agreed Thursday to an offer from prosecutors.

Her attorney, Daniel Dube, had filed a motion to suppress evidence found during a search of Ishola’s car because her headlights hadn’t been turned on in rainy weather, her muffler was not working properly and her car appeared to have been involved in an accident.

Ishola served a week in jail in December 2015 after pleading guilty to two counts of misuse of a public benefits instrument. She was placed on one year of administrative release, which barred her from having illegal drugs and allowed her to be searched for drugs if she was suspected of having them. She also was barred from using EBT cards that she is not authorized by the Department of Health and Human Services to use.

According to police summonses issued to Ishola on June 9 in Auburn during a vehicle stop, she was charged with unlawfully having prescription drugs, including morphine, amphetamine salts, a stimulant sometimes used to treat ADHD, haloperidol, an antipsychotic, and lorazepam, a sedative.

Dube said his client had been taking care of her mother who had been in hospice and had recently died. Ishola had packed up her mother’s possessions — including three of her medications and her EBT card — for disposal and had them in the trunk of her car when she was stopped by police, Dube said. She also had her son’s EBT card and her grandson’s medication for attention deficit disorder.

Dube said his client had been prepared to go to trial, but the potential downside of losing at trial was “too great.”

Prosecutors told the Sun Journal a year ago that two of the men whose EBT cards had been found in Ishola’s possession in 2014 were homeless and had no means of transportation. Another cardholder was disabled and was unable to get to the supermarket. Although the three men had given Ishola permission in sworn statements to shop with their cards for them, she hadn’t gotten authorization from the Department of Health and Human Services.

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