A 21-year-old pop singer for the group Girlicious pleaded guilty this week to a felony possessing cocaine charge after Glendale police in March reportedly found more than a dozen small packages of cocaine in her purse.
Natalie Mejia, a Diamond Bar resident, had originally entered a not guilty plea in April to one felony count of possession of cocaine with the intent to sell.
But Mejia changed her plea Wednesday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court in Pasadena after prosecutors offered her a deal requiring her to enroll in a narcotics abuse treatment program and stay out of trouble for 18 months, officials said.
"Mejia must successfully complete the program to have her case dismissed," said Shiara Dávila-Morales, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
If Mejia violates the program's rules, she could receive three years' probation and a felony conviction on her criminal record, Dávila-Morales said.
Mejia's Attorney Daljinder Singh declined to comment on the case.
Mejia and Burbank resident Peter Asencio, 28, were arrested March 9 after a Glendale police officer stopped his Ford Mustang for speeding at Victory Boulevard and Winchester Avenue just before it got onto the Ventura (134) Freeway, police said.
After the pair had dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen in Burbank, they rushed to get to Los Angeles International Airport because she was late for a flight, police said.
During the traffic stop, police discovered that Asencio's driver's license was suspended, so police said they searched the car and found the small baggies of cocaine in Mejia's Gucci purse.
Asencio told police that he put the drugs in her purse in an attempt hide them and didn't think her purse would be searched, police said, but both were arrested on suspicion of possessing cocaine for sale.
Mejia is due in court Nov. 10 for a progress report.