Police: Drugs in couple’s house

July 28, 2011 

An unlocked back door at a house in a downtown neighborhood led to last week’s arrest of a Columbia couple on drug charges, according to a police incident report.

The afternoon of July 21, police got a call that a burglar alarm was sounding at a house on Windsor Road, the report said.

Officers conducting a security check of the unoccupied house’s perimeter found an unlocked rear door. Officers entered the house and conducted a sweep, finding clear plastic bags of what they believed were marijuana and cocaine “in plain view” on a bed in an upstairs room. Police then called the Columbia police narcotics unit, which obtained a search warrant.

The narcotics unit then found more drugs and drug paraphernalia, the report said.

Meanwhile, the couple who lived in the house returned home and, upon questioning, admitted the drugs were theirs, according to warrants.

Benton “Rusty” Matthews, 61, was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to distribute. His wife, Ann Dreher, 67, was charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana. They are out on bond. Matthews retired from his job as a human services coordinator with the S.C. Department of Social Services on Monday, a DSS spokeswoman said Thursday. Dreher is a former professor in USC’s Theatre and Dance Department.

-- John Monk

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