Grand Forks woman pleads guilty to delivery of fentanyl and three other charges

GRAND FORKS – A Grand Forks woman charged with drug possession, delivery and other offenses has changed her pleas.

In a change of plea hearing on Monday, Sept. 26, Lela Dominique Shilling, 25, pleaded guilty to delivery of fentanyl, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, preventing arrest and fleeing a peace officer by vehicle. With Judge Donald Hager’s acceptance of the plea agreement, Shilling’s remaining charge for fentanyl possession was dismissed.

For the charge of delivering fentanyl, Shilling was sentenced to 10 years at the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, with six years suspended. She received credit for time served equaling 83 days. Upon her release, Shilling will have two years of probation. For the charges of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, preventing arrest and fleeing a peace officer, Shilling received four years per charge with credit for time served. She will be serving all sentences concurrently.

Shilling owes a total of $810 in fines and fees.

At approximately 11:45 a.m. on July 6, 2022, Daniel Essig, a member of the Grand Forks Narcotics Task Force, observed a vehicle outside the Days Inn in Grand Forks that was registered to Shilling. At the time, Shilling had active felony warrants out for her arrest, according to an affidavit in the case. Shilling exited the Days Inn and entered her vehicle. Law enforcement attempted to block the vehicle so that Shilling could not flee. They showed Shilling their badges and began to exit their vehicles.

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According to court documents, Shilling attempted to flee by reversing and, in doing so, she struck the rear law enforcement vehicle. According to the affidavit, Shilling did not comply with law enforcement and resisted arrest. As a result, law enforcement used substantial force to overcome Shilling’s resistance.

A probable cause search of Shilling’s vehicle identified three tinfoil bindles, which included .38 grams butryl fentanyl, .32 grams valeryl fentanyl and a cutting agent. Messages on Shilling’s phone identified she was purchasing fentanyl for herself as well as delivering it. Multiple pieces of paraphernalia with burnt residue were located in the vehicle.

Delivery of fentanyl, a Class B felony, has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $20,000. Possession of fentanyl, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, preventing arrest and fleeing a peace officer by vehicle are all Class C felonies, which each have a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.



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