A Ndilo, N.W.T., mother made a plea for leniency in a Yellowknife courtroom Tuesday.

During a sentencing hearing that began Monday, the woman said she was preyed upon by drug criminals and had no idea her involvement in the drug trade would get her in so much trouble.

Katrina Stiopu has admitted her role in the Todd Dube drug ring, saying she provided Yellowknife area houses in Ndilo and on the Ingraham Trail to stash drugs. The Dube drug ring had a thriving business selling cocaine, fentanyl and other drugs in Yellowknife.

Stiopu, who had no criminal record at the time of her arrest, also admitted recruiting her mother and grandmother to help bring a shipment of drugs from B.C. to the city. They were both arrested for their effort.

Stiopu has been in jail in Fort Smith since being charged a year and nine months ago.

She dabbed tears from her eyes as her lawyer described the effect Stiopu's incarceration has had on her daughter.

Reading from a lengthy statement she had prepared, her lawyer said Stiopu never would have helped Dube if she realized how much trouble she could get into.

Her lawyer is asking for a sentence that amounts to time served. The prosecutor is calling for five years, which would leave her with about two and a half years on her sentence.

The judge will give her decision Jan. 3.

With files from Richard Gleeson