INVESTIGATION PROMPTED BY AN ALERT SECRETARY LANDS TWO IN JAIL
Jessica Diane Lee
An alert Secretary at the Sheriff’s Administration Offices prompted an investigation yesterday, July 12th, that ultimately resulted in the arrest of two Jordan area people on felony drug charges.
The Sheriff’s Office Secretary was processing incoming mail that had just been received for jail inmates. The Secretary noticed two suspicious postcards addressed to a particular inmate in the county jail. The stamps on these two postcards appeared to have a bulge under them and were positioned in such a manner that allowed them to be easily peeled back and removed. An orange colored substance was found underneath each stamp. The return address was 765 CR 215 in the Jordan area. This is the listed address of parolee DENNIS LAWTON. An investigator field tested the substance and found it to be an opiate, although the exact identification of this substance has not been determined.
Investigators confirmed that parolee DENNIS LAWTON had a current warrantless search waiver on file. Sheriff’s Investigators and in Investigator with the 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force then went to the LAWTON residence where contact was made with DENNIS LAWTON as well as with probationer JESSICA DIANE LEE, also residing at the residence. LAWTON and LEE were both questioned about the postcards, and JESSICA LEE admitted to sending the postcards to the jail inmate and to placing the stamps on the postcards. However, she denied placing any controlled substance under the stamps.
A search of the residence and personal belongings of LAWTON and LEE was conducted. Investigators found approximately 6.6 grams of methamphetamine packaged in two separate plastic baggies, digital scales, and numerous baggies similar to the type often associated with the delivery of methamphetamine. Also found was a glass pipe, multiple syringes, Alprazolam pills, and a small amount of marijuana.
At the conclusion of the investigation, DENNIS LAWTON and JESSICA LEE were arrested and transported to the Baxter County Detention Center. They were both booked on the following charges:
Possession of Methamphetamine with Purpose to Deliver – Felony
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2 counts) – Felonies
Possession of Schedule IV Controlled Substance with Purpose to Deliver – Felony
Furnishing Prohibited Articles – Felony
Possession of Schedule VI Controlled Substance with Purpose to Deliver – Felony
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Misdemeanor
Additionally, DENNIS LAWTON was found to have numerous prior felony convictions, and thus he is also facing a penalty enhancement as a Habitual Offender. LAWTON shows to have approximately eleven jail bookings in Baxter and Izard County. JESSICA LEE shows to have been booked into the Baxter County Detention Center a total of seven times.
JESSICA LEE has a bond of $50,000 on these charges, and DENNIS LAWTON has a bond of $15,000. Both will appear in Baxter County Circuit Court to answer on July 20th.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff