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Lansford woman charged with possession of drugs

Published January 03. 2013 05:03PM

Sherry Phillips, 36, of 34 E. Water St., Lansford, faces charges from an incident which took place on Nov. 18 at 224 E. Ridge St. Charges of unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia were filed by Officer Jason Helmer.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, here's what happened:

At about 12:20 a.m. Nov. 18, Helmer was dispatched to 224 E. ridge St. for a female possessing drug and drug paraphernalia. Upon arrival, he was accompanied by officer Joshua Tom. The officers spoke with the complainant, Robert Snyder, on the porch. Snyder lives at the address with his parents.

Snyder told police that Phillips, his girlfriend, was in the kitchen, "all messed up." He said he saw drugs and paraphernalia in her purse, and wanted her out of the house. Snyder invited police inside, where they spoke with Phillips.

She was apparently under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, as her speech was garbled, she was slow to respond, her eyes were red and glassy, and she was slouched over and seemed to have extreme difficulty in supporting herself upright.

Police saw a purse sitting next to Phillips on the kitchen table. Helmer asked if it was hers, and she said "Yeah. You can check it. There's nothing in there."

Officer Tom checked inside the purse. He saw two pieces of tin foil, one of which has been rolled into a tube and contained burned reside, indicating that it had been used for smoking some type of substance.

He also discovered a small blue plastic bag, commonly used to package drugs, which contained a white residue. It also contained a small piece of white substance suspected to be cocaine.

Phillips denied the objects were hers.

Upon speaking with the residents of the house, John and Ruth Stevens, it was learned that Phillips does not legally live there, and the couple does not want her there because of her drug habit.

Police arrested Phillips, gave her her Miranda warnings, and took her back to the police station. Phillips opted to remain silent and to not provide a written statement.

Phillips also faces charges from a puppy-napping incident which took place on Nov. 12 at 7 N. Walnut St., Lansford. in that case, she is charged with theft by unlawful taking.

At 4:15 p.m. Nov. 12, Helmer was dispatched on a report of the theft of a puppy from Nicole Fink, who said she returned home to 7 N. Walnut St. to find her 9-week-old pit bull puppy missing from her back yard. Fink told Helmer she was searching the neighborhood for the dog, and learned that a woman she knew only as "Crack Head Sherry" had taken the puppy, and that its whereabouts were unknown.

Upon arrival in the area, Helmer saw Phillips, whom he knew from previous encounters, approach Fink's house, walk up onto the porch and knock on the door.

He approached Phillips and asked her what she was doing there. Phillips replied she was there to "talk to them about a dog."

Helmer told Phillips, and told her that he was also there to discuss a dog that had been stolen. Phillips told him, "I don't have any dog. That's what I'm here to talk to them about."

She continued to deny having anything to do with taking the pup.

The puppy's owners, Fink and Amanda Bielawne, arrived. Then, Phillips recanted, admitting that she took the puppy for her children, and that it was at her mother's house on East Water Street.

At the police station, Phillips' mother, Cindy Smith, called to say she had arrived home to find a puppy in her yard. Smith told police that Snyder had just come to pick up the dog to return it to its owner. Fink was contacted, and she said Snyder had dropped off the puppy at her house.

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