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Baxter County Patrol Vehicle



Penny Juanita Whitson


     Sheriff’s Investigators today arrested 54 year old PENNY JUANITA WHITSON of the Lakeview area on felony charges following an investigation into smuggling controlled substance into the Detention Center.

   PENNY WHITSON was booked into the Detention Center on September 6, 2017 on drug charges and was placed, after processing, into the female housing pod.  The next day, September 7th, Jailers were conducting a search of the female housing unit and found approximately 4.2 grams of methamphetamine and six Diazepam pills in a cell assigned to PENNY WHITSON.  These items were seized and taken into evidence.  This find initiated a criminal inquiry.  Investigators uncovered evidence that WHITSON had smuggled the drugs into the Detention Center, concealed in a body cavity, when she was arrested and brought in on September 6th.  She was released on September 14th.

    This morning Investigators went to the residence of PENNY WHITSON, who is on parole, to arrest her on additional charges related to this incident.  After knocking on the door of the residence, Investigators observed WHITSON moving about inside, and they believed she was attempting to destroy evidence.  Entry was made, and WHITSON was taken into custody.

     A search of the residence was conducted, and various articles of drug paraphernalia associated with the use and distribution of methamphetamine were found and seized. 

     PENNY WHITSON was booked into the Detention Center at approximately 10:30 AM today on charges of:

Furnishing, Possessing, or Using Prohibited Articles – Felony
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2 counts) – Felonies
Refusal to Submit to Arrest – Misdemeanor
Habitual Offender – Penalty Enhancement

     WHITSON has a bond of $25,000 and will appear in Circuit Court on October 16th. PENNY WHITSON has been booked into the Baxter County Detention Center 23 times since 1998.  Assisting the Sheriff's Office today were the 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Arkansas State Police - Criminal Investigation Division.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff