The mother of a Cathedral Catholic High School student was sentenced Friday, Aug. 24, to 11 years, eight months in state prison after admitting she had guided a teen to sell drugs to a network of other students.
“It’s absolutely sickening to the court,” San Diego Superior Court Judge Timothy Walsh said of the actions by Kimberly Dawn Quach, 49.
He imposed the harshest penalty on Quach that was available to him under terms of a plea agreement.
The judge also sentenced Quach’s former boyfriend, William Sipperley, 50, to six years and four months in prison for his role in growing and pricing marijuana products.
“It was a business partnership,” the judge said. “He provided the marijuana and Ms. Quach would get the customers.”
Quach’s ex-husband and two friends pleaded with the judge to be lenient, saying Quach loved her family, was highly remorseful and hoped to become a productive member of society again.
The judge reacted to their comments by saying Quach had “set a horrible example” and exposed her two children, ages 17 and 10, to “extreme danger” from drugs in the home.
Authorities say Quach taught a 16-year-old girl to sell pot to other students at Cathedral High in Carmel Valley as well as to students in La Jolla from January to September 2017.
Quach hosted student parties at her home and provided them with a variety of narcotics, including a synthetic heroin, as well as alcohol and nicotine, Deputy District Attorney Christina Eastman said in court.
“There was no limit on what she would provide,” Eastman said. “She was setting up a full-fledged distribution business on the backs of children. Her clients were children.”
In May, Quach pleaded guilty to five charges related to drug possession or sales. She has remained in custody for about a year.
Sipperley pleaded guilty in May to two charges, including using a teen to sell marijuana.
According to a search warrant affidavit filed in October, Quach came under suspicion after parents of a teenager found suboxone, a synthetic heroin, in their daughter’s room. They also uncovered text messages between Quach and their daughter, who was friends with one of Quach’s children.
“It is known at the school that if you need anything, you can have Quach buy it for you,” a San Diego police investigator wrote in the search warrant affidavit.
When police searched the home Quach shared with Sipperley and her children, they found marijuana drying on tables throughout the home, as well as equipment to grow the plants.
Sipperley left the area before Quach was arrested. He was eventually found and jailed.
Quach spoke to the judge through tears before she was sentenced, saying “no one is to blame but me” and that she has taken advantage of rehabilitation classes and church services while in jail.
“I’d like to prove to my family and the court I can come out (of prison) a better person,” Quach said.
--Pauline Repard and Teri Figueroa are reporters for The San Diego Union-Tribune