Teacher arrested for drugs

Published 4:00 am Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Traffic stop leads to find of 100+ pills

The weekend in Castleberry was filled with an assortment of drug-related arrests – including that of a Florida teacher allegedly in illegal possession of an estimated 100 prescription pills.

Chief Tracy Hawsey said Tuesday his department was out in full-force Saturday and racked up three arrests for drug possession.

The first occurred at 11:30 a.m. Saturday when a Mercury Mountaineer, driven by 32-year-old Miranda Mathis of Santa Rosa County, Fla., was stopped for speeding on Ala. Hwy. 31.

“When I got out of my vehicle, Ms. Mathis – who is a teacher in Florida and appeared somewhat impaired and agitated – stuck her head out the window and yelled, ‘I wasn’t speeding,’” Hawsey said.

Hawsey said a search of Mathis’s vehicle revealed the large pill quantity, which ranged in brand from Lortab to OxyContin.

Mathis was charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance.

The second arrested followed when officers served an arrest warrant at the Evergreen Street home of John Pettis, who was wanted for assault, at approximately 5:30 p.m.

“When we arrived, the front door was open and several white males jumped up and hit the back door,” Hawsey said. After a brief search, all – including Pettis – were located. Pettis was taken into custody and also charged with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Then, at 7 p.m., a second traffic stop on Ala. Hwy. 31 netted a third arrest, Hawsey said.

“It was a minor traffic infraction, but the driver said she was headed to Huntsville but decided to turn around and go back to Brewton for gas and food,” Hawsey said. “I noticed that her gas hand registered ‘full,’ and when questioned, her story changed several times, and she never seemed to get it straight.”

Hawsey said the department’s new K9, Benji, was then used to conduct a search of the vehicle.

“Benji alerted on the driver’s side as to the presence of an illegal substance, which was later found to be marijuana in a backpack as well as rolled marijuana cigarettes,” he said.

The driver, identified as 44-year-old Amy Sherman of Milton, Fla., was charged with possession of marijuana.