Oneida woman avoids prison after going public about how meth ruined her life

Melissa Dager (center) following sentencing

An Oneida woman avoided prison after going public about how meth ruined her life.

Melissa Dager was sentenced Monday to six months of home confinement and three years probation after admitting she supplied her brother with pseudoephedrine so he could make meth.

They were arrested in 2011 when police busted a meth lab on Palmer Drive in the City of Oneida. She was later convicted of possession of pseudoephedrine and faced 41-51 months in federal prison.

Dager spoke exclusively with CNY Centralâ??s Jim Kenyon in February, in hopes that others could learn from her experience. She said she became depressed after her mother died and became vulnerable to the drug culture in Oneida. She said her brother supplied her with meth and she "just got caught up in it" and became addicted.

Dager led a double life appearing to be a normal middle-aged working wife and mother during the day and leaving her home at night to feed her habit with other meth addicts. Her husband, Kevin Dager, said he had no idea his wife was using meth until she was arrested.

In court Monday, the judge said he watched Dagerâ??s interviews with Kenyon and that they weighed heavily on his decision.

The judge pointed out that a probation report says Dager has completely turned her life around, is fully rehabilitated and is now a productive member of society.

Outside the courthouse, Dager told Kenyon, "I am so thankful to God and to the judge for giving me the opportunity to take care of my children and the be mother and wife that I should have been all along."

Dager's attorney, Rob Wells said, "Mercy is not something to be earned, it's something to be given but if anyone has earned mercy, it's Melissa Dager. She has done everything right."

Mordue said a probation department official told him that he doesnâ??t expect to see Dager before him again.

Dager wrote an essay about her experience titled "The Effects of Meth on a Beautiful Life." Click here to read it.

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