Staci J. Ponte
A North Platte woman allegedly tried to get rid of drugs Thursday when police arrived at her room, but was unsuccessful. Staci Ponte, 40, was arrested at a room in Motel 6 in North Platte.
Police spokesman John Deal said officers were prepared to arrest Ponte for distributing a controlled substance on Dec. 22.
When they arrived, Ponte said she had to use the restroom. Officers said okay, but told her not to flush the toilet because they suspected she might try to flush drugs down the drain.
Deal said Ponte appeared to stall around, and then flushed the toilet. Officers entered and told her to finish but not to flush the toilet again.
Ponte again flushed it and she was arrested. A small, torn plastic baggie floated on the water.
Ponte also had two small baggies of suspected methamphetamine in her jeans pocket that police found when they searched her in the arrest.
Deal said a search warrant was obtained for the room, which turned up drug paraphernalia and evidence of distribution of controlled substances.
Ponte asked the officers to bring her prescription medication to jail. They did, but when the bottle was checked, officers found Valium in it, even though it was labeled for another medication. Officers were not able to determine that she had a prescription for the Valium, so she was cited for another count of possession of a controlled substance. In all, she faces two new counts of possession of methamphetamine, one charge of possession of valium and one charge of obstructing justice.
Her bond was set at $100,000.
Ponte was already scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 13 on a previous charge of meth possession that was filed Aug. 30. Some paraphernalia that police found in her car contained meth residue.