AUGUSTA — An Augusta woman involved in a shooting incident at the Augusta Walmart parking lot in June 2016 is heading to prison for four years for selling cocaine base this summer while on probation.

Samatha Tupper, 26, will have the rest of her eight-year sentence suspended while she spends an additional three years on probation.

The sentence was imposed after Tupper pleaded guilty Tuesday at the Capital Judicial Center to one count of aggravated trafficking in cocaine base, which occurred July 27 in Augusta.

Assistant Attorney General Katie Sibley said Tupper sold a gram of cocaine to an undercover officer.

Sibley said the new charge was classified as aggravated trafficking because of Tupper’s prior conviction, not because of the amount involved.

The judge also ordered Tupper to serve a concurrent 36 months for violating her prior probation.

Sibley told Judge Eric Walker that Tupper needed to be on probation again after serving her new sentence.

“She has to be held accountable for her conduct, but at the same time she needs to be given the tool to rehabilitate,” Sibley said. “Probation should give her those tools.

Sibley said it was “well-established that Tupper has struggled for a long period of time with substance abuse issues.”

Tupper was one of four people arrested after shots were exchanged June 26, 2016, between people in two cars in the Augusta Walmart parking lot in what police said was a dispute over money owed for drugs.

No one was shot but the fracas brought a number of charges against the individuals involved.

Police say Tupper picked one of the four people involved, Reginald McBride, and drove him to Walmart that day. After two bystanders, both legally carrying guns, broke up the shooting, she drove him back to her residence in Augusta, where police found them. Tupper later pleaded no contest and was convicted of hindering McBride’s apprehension. She was sentenced to five months in jail.

Tupper had pleaded guilty in May 2016 to unlawful trafficking in cocaine and was sentenced to an initial 45 days in jail with the remainder of her four-year sentence suspended. She was on that probation when the aggravated trafficking occurred.

McBride, now 40, of Harlem, New York, was indicted on federal firearms and drugs charges in connection with the Walmart incident, and his case is set for trial next month in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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