IOWA, La. — The town of Iowa’s fire chief is free on bond after her arrest on drug possession charges.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s spokeswoman Kim Myers said Sandra Miller, 59, was the target of a covert operation by the sheriff’s Combined Anti-Drug Task Force.

Investigators found Miller had allegedly purchased 120 pills advertised as Oxycodone and had the product shipped to her home, Myers said. Detectives found 60 additional pills during a search of her home, she said.

Initial testing of the pills showed them to be a combination of heroin, caffeine and cough suppressants, Myers said.

“Through similar investigations, we have learned that most of the time these online companies are not legitimate,” Sheriff Tony Mancuso said in a news release. “These black market pharmacies will distribute various unknown substances advertised as a controlled medication at a better price to attract buyers to purchase their product. This is a perfect example of one of the risks people take when they attempt to purchase illegal drugs.”

The American Press reports (http://bit.ly/2d2xttl ) that Miller was arrested last Thursday on a charge of possession of heroin. She was released the next day on a $50,000 bond set by state District Judge Guy Bradberry.

“This is a profoundly sad situation,” Mayor Carol Ponthieux said Friday of Miller’s arrest. “We are in a state of shock.”

Ponthieux said Miller had been temporarily “relieved of all her duties and responsibilities” while officials gathered more information concerning her arrest.

Miller, who began her tenure as full-time fire chief of the Iowa Volunteer Fire Department in July 2010, is an employee of both the town and the Ward 8 Fire District 1 board.

But Ponthieux said it’s her responsibility to decide whether Miller will ultimately be fired.

The mayor said volunteer assistant fire chief Phil Mallett will temporarily act as chief.

“I’m very thankful to Mr. Mallet for his professionalism and his desire to keep the fire department functioning. He has a tremendous depth of knowledge about firefighting, and I think his leadership skills will help us fill that void until we can determine what we are going to do with Fire Chief Sandi Miller.”


Information from: American Press, http://www.americanpress.com

VIAThe Associated Press
SHARE
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.