Woman charged with intent to deliver methamphetamine

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

A Holiday Island woman was arrested Wednesday for alleged possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver after a traffic stop led to a search of her vehicle.

Arkansas State Trooper Chad Hipps said he was on patrol eastbound on the Kings River Bridge at about 2 p.m. when he noticed a vehicle traveling westbound at a high rate of speed.

He said an unidentified emergency first responder with emergency lights on pointed to the speeding Nissan Altima.

Hipps turned around and caught up with the vehicle near Lil Bear RV center on Highway 62 west of Berryville, where he pulled the car over.

He said that when he approached the vehicle, the driver, Christie D. Edmondson, 28, said she was rushing her husband, Jason Edmondson, to the hospital in Eureka Springs.

"I noticed Jason was sitting in the passenger seat and appeared to be in great pain," Hipps said.

He called for an ambulance, and while waiting for the emergency personnel, he did a computer check on both Edmondsons, and the sheriff's office reported that both the subjects were on probation. Hipps asked Christie Edmondson what they were on probation for, and he said she replied "manufacturing methamphetamine." Both also had warrants ---- Jason was wanted in Springdale and Christie was wanted in Berryville.

Hipps said he noticed yellowish-orange stains on her hands and asked Christie about them, and she reportedly replied, "what stains?"

Hipps said, "the stains on your hands," and she allegedly replied that she didn't see any stains.

When Jason was taken away by ambulance, Hipps said he asked Christie for permission to search her vehicle, but she refused.

Hipps then placed her under arrest for the Berryville warrant. As required by law, Hipps began an inventory of the vehicle before having it towed.

He said that during the search, he found two credit cards that later were determined to be stolen.

While transporting her to jail, Hipps said he read her Miranda Rights to her under video surveillance and again asked her about the stains on her hands. She allegedly replied that the stains were iodine stains which she got on her hands by accident.

Iodine is one of the ingredients needed as a precursor in the manufacturing of methamphetamine.

Upon arrival at the jail, her probation officer, Terry Maddox, took her into an interview room, and Hipps searched her purse for the required booking inventory.

Hipps reported that he found five small individually packaged plastic bags of suspected methamphetamine, an envelope with $404 in cash, a glass pipe with residue and other suspected drug paraphernalia.

The approximately five grams or less of powder tested positive as methamphetamine, he said. Hipps reported what he found to Maddox, and Maddox asked her what it was and she reportedly admitted it was methamphetamine and that she had been "around" while it was being manufactured.

She refused to reveal any further information, saying, "It doesn't matter because there's nothing left to find," the report said.

She also denied any knowledge of the stolen credit cards, Hipps said.

Christie Edmondson was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, theft by receiving and a misdemeanor warrant for failure to pay fines.

Her bond was set at $15,000 Thursday morning.

There was no record of Jason Edmondson being admitted at St. John's Hospital-Berryville, and nurse Sherry Gerster of Eureka Springs Hospital refused to release any information, citing privacy laws. Administrator David Cox also cited privacy laws and refused to release information.

Most privacy laws do not apply when a patient's name is known and he is involved in a police investigation or emergency transport.

St. John's Hospital-Berryville, Springfield, Washington Regional and other hospitals release patient conditions routinely when the patient's name is known and it is a matter of public interest.

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