SIOUX CITY | The next time she appears in court, Angelica Perez might not be as lucky, a judge told her.
Rather than revoke Perez' probation and send her to prison to complete her initial five-year prison sentence for her role in a staged bank robbery, Senior Judge Mary Jane Sokolovske found her in contempt of court and ordered her to spend 45 days in jail.
Perez admitted Thursday in Woodbury County District Court that she had violated her probation by getting arrested and convicted of drug possession charges in Missouri. Sokolovske told her to take advantage of her second chance, because if she's ever in court for another probation violation, a judge will look at her past performance on probation.
"Certainly, the sanctions could be much harsher," Sokolovske said.
Perez, 20, of Sioux City, was sentenced with Heaven Zevenbergen, then 19, to five years in prison in February 2016 for second-degree theft for staging a robbery at the Security National Bank branch at the Hy-Vee store on Hamilton Boulevard. She and Zevenbergen pleaded guilty to the August 2015 incident in which Perez went to the bank in disguise and passed Zevenbergen, who was a bank employee, a note demanding cash and saying she was armed. Zevenbergen then gave Perez $10,000, most of which was never recovered.
Three months after sentencing, District Judge Jeffrey Neary ordered them released from prison and placed them on probation for five years.
Perez was arrested in May, when she and her now ex-boyfriend were pulled over in Missouri, and police searching their vehicle found LSD and marijuana edibles in one of their bags. Perez pleaded guilty to drug possession in September and was placed on probation. Her arrest and conviction violated terms of her probation from the theft conviction.
Perez told Sokolovske Thursday that the drugs were not hers and she did not know her boyfriend had packed drugs in their bag.
Assistant Woodbury County Attorney James Loomis asked Sokolovske to revoke Perez' probation and enforce her original five-year prison sentence.
Sokolovske instead ordered her in contempt of court and gave her the jail sentence, which will begin on Nov. 16. Sokolovske granted Perez work and school release. Once Perez completes her jail sentence, she will continue with her probation.