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Atkinson sentenced on drug charges

A 26-year-old Cumberland County woman was found guilty on nine of the 28 charges she faced — the majority of which were in connection to lottery ticket larceny, embezzlement, petit larceny and drug sales that occurred at The Market Express No. 4 gas station at 1611 E. Anderson Highway.

Laura Atkinson

According to online court documents, Laura Paige Atkinson pled guilty to a charge of bomb or burn threat; violation of protective order; obtain money under false pretenses, more than $200; embezzlement of more than $200; lottery ticket larceny of more than $200; fraudulent use of lottery money; extortion in writing; sale or distribution of marijuana and misdemeanor violation of community-based probation.

She was not prosecuted on charges of profane language over public airway, annoying ringing of a phone, two charges of obtain money under false pretenses of more than $200, two charges of embezzlement of more than $200, two charges of grand larceny of more than $200, two charges of fraudulent use of lottery money, two charges of lottery ticket larceny, a charge of buying alcohol for an unauthorized person, two petit larceny charges of less than $200 and drug sale on or near school property.

Atkinson is set to appear in Cumberland Circuit Court Aug. 1 on a felony charge of first offender of alcohol violation and to set restitution, according to court officials.

Atkinson will serve an active term of seven months and 10 days in jail.

Her probation violation will result in her serving an active 30-day sentence in jail with an additional 30 days suspended and her violation of a protective order will have her serve a 10-day sentence with an additional five months and 20 days suspended.

In addition, Atkinson received 46 years suspended in jail for the remainder of the charges.

Cumberland Sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Bates began investigating the incidents following a call from the manager of the store March 16 at 8:30 p.m. to investigate video surveillance footage.
In a previous interview, Bates said the footage showed an employee of the store stealing lottery scratch tickets and putting them in a bag. The incidents took place while Atkinson was working.

He said the thefts took place between March 10-15, though three confirmed days of the thefts took place on March 10, 13 and 15.

According to a previous interview with Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Seal, during Bates’ investigation, police observed Atkinson on camera stealing cigarettes and beer.

This was in addition, Seal said, to occurrences where police saw “suspicious transactions” take place between her and several others who were later identified, interviewed and questioned.

“Basically all of them admitted to going up there and selling marijuana (and) methamphetamine; also trading marijuana for prescription pills — Adderall,” Seal said.

Seal said he was brought into the investigation following the discovery of narcotics being involved.