Crime & Courts

SC woman hid meth in a body cavity, sheriff’s office says

Meth is stronger, more dangerous than ever

David Fawcett, a therapist who works with people recovering from crystal meth addiction, talks about the purity of the drug now available and the effects it has on its users.
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David Fawcett, a therapist who works with people recovering from crystal meth addiction, talks about the purity of the drug now available and the effects it has on its users.

What began as a traffic stop over a license tag light early Thursday morning ended with a woman admitting she was hiding meth in her vagina, according to sheriff’s deputies.

A Berkeley County sheriff’s deputy with his police dog, Fox, pulled behind a car near Highway 17-A and Sangaree Parkway after the vehicle committed a couple traffic violations, the sheriff’s office said in a report on social media. The report did not identify the violations, but said the officer decided to pull the car over when he noticed its tag light wasn’t working. At first, the driver didn’t pull over but eventually came to a stop.

The sheriff’s office identified the woman behind the wheel as 31-year-old Melanie Johnson of Goose Creek. While the deputy spoke with her, the sheriff’s office said, “reasonable suspicion was present,” and the deputy asked to search the car. Johnson refused. The deputy got Fox on the job and conducted a free air sniff around the car. Fox smelled drugs, according to the sheriff’s report.

The deputy arrested Johnson and read her the Miranda Rights. Johnson then told deputies she had meth inside her female body cavity, according to the police. She removed a blue plastic bag containing about five grams of a crystal-like substance from inside herself.

With that as their probable cause, deputies searched the car and found another gram of the crystal-like substance.

Police charged Johnson with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. She’s being held in Hill-Finklea Detention Center on $100,000 bond, jail records show.

Johnson has previously been charged with assault and battery, bond revocation, and meth and drug paraphernalia possession, the sheriff’s office said. In March, Judge Roger M. Young Sr. suspended a 2-year prison sentence after Johnson pleaded guilty to possessing meth, according to court records. She was given one-year probation. Her recent arrest comes one month and 18 days into her probation.

Depending on a person’s criminal history, possessing to distribute meth can be punishable by 15 to 30 years in prison and fines of $25,000 to $50,000.

David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.
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