PUNTA GORDA, FL. - A Charlotte County Sheriff's road deputy arrested a passenger Saturday evening coming from a known drug house and located 3 pieces of crack cocaine hidden under her dentures.
Charged with Possession of Crack Cocaine and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia was 49-year-old Kimberly Joyce Maroney. The driver of the pickup was 25-year-old Lora Ashley Whitehead.
The deputy was patrolling by a known drug house on Scott Street in Punta Gorda, when he noticed a GMC pickup pull into the driveway of the home. A few minutes later he observed two women drive away and then pull into a closed business parking lot and parked for a few minutes. When the deputy pulled into the parking lot, the driver saw him, and drove off. A traffic stop was made due to the suspicious activity.
The driver, Whitehead, produced a Tennessee driver’s license and it was found to be suspended; Whitehead said she did not have a Florida license but was living here now. Both Whitehead and Maroney were shaking and appeared very nervous. They told the deputy they were coming from the mini-mart on Cooper Street, but the deputy told them he observed them coming from a known drug house on Scott Street. The deputy noticed needle marks on Whitehead’s hands and arms. She was asked to exit the pickup and then picked up a used syringe she threw on the ground and handed to the deputy; she said she had injected crack cocaine prior to being pulled over.
Maroney had a crack pipe in her purse that was used with burnt Brillo in one end and a piece of Crack Cocaine stuck into the Brillo. When she exited the pickup the deputy noticed she was not opening her mouth all the way and appeared to be moving something around with her tongue. The deputy asked her to open her mouth and when she did, he could see she had dentures on the top and bottom of her mouth. He asked her to remove them because she was still attempting to hide something. Once the dentures were removed, Maroney opened her mouth and the deputy saw three large pieces of Crack Cocaine which she removed and handed to the deputy.
Both women were arrested and transported to the Charlotte County Jail. Maroney posted a $3,500 bond and was released. Whithead was charged with Driving While License was Suspended; she posted a $500 bond and was also released.
Anyone with knowledge of illegal drug activity is asked to please call the CCSO Narcotics Unit at 941-575-2157, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).