Mahoning Township police have charged a former Lehighton woman, now living in Palmerton, with having crack cocaine, which she had hidden in a police cruiser.

Amy Luise Blocker, 25, formerly of the 200 block of South Street Lehighton, the 2100 block of North Lehigh Street Whitehall, and now currently residing in the 700 block of Lehigh Street Palmerton, was charged after being arrested for retail theft and giving false information to police stemming from an incident at the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Oct. 31, 2010.

According to a report released by Police Chief Kenneth Barnes, Blocker was transported on Oct. 31 to the township police station in a marked police vehicle. The officer assigned to that patrol unit, as a matter of routine, checked and inspected the exterior and full interior of the car at 7:15 a.m., prior to going out on patrol. At the end of his shift at about 5:30 p.m., and after transporting and dealing with Blocker, as a matter of routine he again checked and inspected the exterior and full interior of his assigned police vehicle.

The officer then found a plastic bag containing 15 rocks of crack cocaine that were individually wrapped for distribution. The drugs were found between the upper and lower portions of the rear passenger side seating area, along with a bracelet in the same area of the seat and lying over the top of where the crack cocaine was found. That bracelet had been worn by Blocker on her right wrist when she was arrested and transported in the police vehicle. No other person was transported on that date.

The rocks of crack cocaine were sent to the state police crime lab. Several weeks later, the lab confirmed the rocks were cocaine.

The Carbon County District Attorney's Office was contacted and approval was given for an arrest warrant, issued by District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe.

Blocker's new address in Palmerton was not learned until last week. At about 6:50 a.m. Wednesday the investigating police officer, assisted by Palmerton police, arrested Blocker at her residence. At 9:50 a.m. she was arraigned before Lewis and released on $10,000 unsecured bail.

A preliminary hearing in the matter has been tentatively scheduled for Feb. 16.