By MARY RAINWATER
A 22-year-old Palestine woman remained in jail on multiple charges Tuesday following an early morning traffic stop and search that led to the discovery of over 13 grams of methamphetamine.
According to Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor, deputy Johnny Gordon stopped a silver Dodge Intrepid in the 200 block of N. Church St. at 4:10 a.m. Tuesday for no license plate light.
“There were three people in the vehicle — a female driver and a male and female passenger,” Taylor said. “The owner of the vehicle, who was not driving, gave consent to search the vehicle.”
With Sgt. Brian Chason arriving to assist, officers discovered a metal cigarette tin that held three plastic baggies containing a “large quantity” of a crystal substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine.
Also found were a set of digital scales, empty plastic baggies and a used syringe, the sheriff said, all located near the driver’s seat. The amount of methamphetamine totaled about 13.6 grams.
“That is a pretty large quantity of meth,” Taylor said. “It is certainly more than for personal use.”
The driver, Bridget Anita Ferguson, was arrested and remained in jail on four charges including: manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance (PG1) 4-200 grams; possession of drug paraphernalia; driving with license invalid; and no license plate light.
Bond had not been set on Ferguson as of press time, according to Taylor. The two passengers — a 40-year-old male and a 19-year-old female, were released at the scene.
“We are working hard to catch (these drug dealers),” Taylor said. “Our deputies are learning the players and their vehicles and are making arrests. I want to give them kudos for their efforts on this.”
The distribution and use of methamphetamine is the most common drug-related issue in the Anderson County and East Texas, with most of the drugs — known as ICE — being brought in from Mexico.
“The Mexican meth is mostly what we are finding,” Taylor said. “It is pretty potent stuff.”
The sheriff also said that those arrested for drug-related crimes are often tied to local burglaries and thefts.
“So when we make those arrests, we are often taking a burglar off the streets as well,” he said.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org