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November 2, 2012

New Albany woman faces multiple meth charges

NEW ALBANY — A New Albany woman was being held in the Floyd County Jail on Wednesday on five felony charges related to methamphetamine.

Sonya L. Tevis, 26, of the 200 block of Galt Street, was booked into the jail Wednesday after being transferred from Clark County (Ky.) Detention Center.

Tevis was arrested by officers with the Winchester (Ky.) Police Department on Oct. 8 on warrants  from Floyd County Superior Court No. 1.

The two warrants for her arrest were issued in Floyd County within the span of a week in August after multiple search warrants were executed at her residence.

The first of those warrants was executed by officers with the New Albany Police Department and Indiana State Police on Aug. 8.

According to a probable cause affidavit, officers arrived at Tevis’ residence, knocked at the door several times and, after getting no response, breached the door and entered the home. Tevis was found asleep on a couch.

She told the lawmen she lived at the residence with her boyfriend Johnny Ross who paid the bills at the home because she was unemployed. Ross was not at the home at the time of the search warrant.

During their search of the home, officers seized an assortment of items used to produce methamphetamine. Those items included an instant-cold compress pack, liquid drain opener, nubulizer kits, an AA advanced-lithium battery, nubulizer tubing, Drano crystals, camping fuel, a dish with residue that tested positive for methamphetamine, an electric grinder with white power residue believed to be ephedrine, several pills, identified as Acetaminophen Butalbital Caffeine, Alprazolam (a controlled substance) and Diazepam (a controlled substance), a digital scale and a bag of vegetation police identified as marijuana.

The Alprazolam and Diazepam were found in Tevis’ purse. Although she told officers she had a prescription for the substances, she was unable to produce a prescription at the time.

Chemical reagents found in the home included sodium hydroxide, ammonium nitrate, organic solvent, sulfuric acid and lithium. Tevis told officers none of the items found in the home belonged to her.

Tevis was taken to the New Albany police department where she provided a recorded statement in which she admitted she had used methamphetamine for several months, oftentimes snorting the drug, and that Ross was one of the people who would supply her methamphetamine. Tevis said he traded her the drug in exchange for her purchasing pseudoephedrine for him. She also told police other people came to the home to buy methamphetamine from Ross.

Tevis told police she and Ross would “use a couple of lines a day,” according to the affidavit.

The Aug. 8 search warrant resulted in Tevis being charged in Floyd County Superior Court with possession of a controlled substance and maintaining a common nuisance, both class D felonies.

A warrant for Tevis’ arrest was issued Aug. 28.

•••

Tevis was again visited at her home by law enforcement six days later, on Aug. 14, when an ISP trooper assisted a Floyd County probation officer during a probation visit to Tevis’ boyfriend, Ross.

Tevis was standing in the kitchen of the home and Ross was sitting on a couch when the officers arrived.

Written in the probable cause affidavit, the trooper reported he saw Ross shove a green towel between the couch cushions upon the officers’ arrival.

Officers noted that the home was known to have knives located throughout, so Ross was checked for weapons. As he was being searched, Ross removed several items from his pockets, including a metal tin containing red and blue pills, which were later determined to be pseudoephedrine.

As Ross was submitting to a drug screening with the probation officer, the trooper retrieved the green towel from between the couch cushions and found  a glass pipe wrapped inside. Residue on the pipe later tested positive for methamphetamine.

After the drug screening, Ross was taken into custody.

The trooper also gave Tevis her Miranda rights.

According to the affidavit, Tevis initially told officers she didn’t know about the glass pipe, but later changed her story and said the pipe had been overlooked by the officers who conducted the search of the home a few days earlier. She told the trooper that there was no methamphetamine production taking place in the home.

She was then placed in handcuffs.

“Tevis stated that she didn’t want to go to jail and would cooperate,” according to the affidavit.

She then told officers that Ross had received a call the day before from a man who told him he had been stopped by police and was found with methamphetamine.

The man told the officer that he had gotten the drug from Ross, according to Tevis’ statements to police, and about a methamphetamine lab in a cooler, apparently in Ross’ possession.

Tevis told police she had never seen the cooler-methamphetamine lab, but a regular visitor to her home kept a methamphetamine lab in a green cooler.

Tevis was released by the officer and advised of potential future charges.

Later in the day a search warrant was conducted at the home.

Officers searched the property outside of the home and again found a slew of items used in methamphetamine production.

Following the second search warrant, Tevis was charged in Floyd County Superior Court No. 1 with dealing methamphetamine, a class A felony, illegal drug labs; possession or sale of precursors, a class C felony, and maintaining a common nuisance, a class D felony.

The court issued a warrant for her arrest Aug. 21.

Tevis was scheduled to appear for an initial hearing in Floyd County Superior No. 1. Thursday.

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