Rock Star Pays Fine For Drug Bust in N.D.

Bowbells, ND - A singer with Grammy Awards and an Academy Award to her credit is out one thousand dollars for bringing marijuana and hash oil across the Canadian border into North Dakota.

Melissa Etheridge paid the fine after agreeing to plead guilty to a misdemeanor in the case.

Jim Olson was in the courtroom in Bowbells today where the sentence was announced.

Melissa Etheridge was not in the courtroom today - but her attorney entered her guilty plea and told North Central District Judge Todd Cresap that the singer had already paid her one thousand dollar fine.

Etheridge was charged in August after two of her tour buses were stopped at the Portal crossing when a K9-unit alerted for drugs.
Several items were found on the buses and Etheridge said they belonged to her.
She issued a statement in September saying she had the marijuana items for treatment of cancer and did not realize North Dakota didn't allow the drug.
Her attorney says Etheridge was impressed with how the case was handled.

(Tom Dickson, Attorney for Melissa Etheridge) "Ms. Etheridge would like to thank the Burke County Sheriff's office. She said how polite, professional and courteous they were to her. She and her band were very grateful."

Etheridge was also placed on six months unsupervised probation.
One other band member also pleaded guilty and received the same sentence.

Etheridge is the second rock star to pay a fine and receive probation after being arrested at the Portal border crossing - Todd Rundgren pleaded guilty in October for a drug arrest in September.

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