Wanda Winfield admitted in court Tuesday morning that she sold some opioid pills to a friend, but she denies being the “drug-dealing grandma,” as she was once portrayed.
In pleading guilty to two charges of criminal sale of a controlled substance, Winfield, 46, of Cheektowaga told Justice Christopher J. Burns that a family friend who knew Winfield had been prescribed pain medication after surgery came to her “for help.” The friend was working as a confidential informant for law enforcement and paid Winfield twice for a total of 50 pills in November.
Winfield’s attorney Thomas Eoannou said it appeared the friend approached Winfield as part of an effort to offset her own legal problems. He took issue with initial reports that there was “suspicious activity” at Winfield’s house and that she sold drugs while babysitting her grandchildren.
“There is a full court press on opioid sales in this county,” Eoannou said, “and it’s understandable. But Wanda is not a big time drug dealer. Someone came to her and she did something she shouldn’t have.”
In accepting Winfield’s plea, Burns said of her upcoming sentencing, “I’m ruling out state prison. I don’t think it’s appropriate here.”
When she returns to court Aug. 24, Winfield could be sentenced to a jail term of no more than a year, a few months of jail and probation, or probation alone. She remains free on her own recognizance.