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Woman faces drug charges


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A traffic stop recently led to the arrest of a Jackson County woman on at least eight drug-related charges in Columbus.

Velma R. Holcomb, 42, of Vallonia, was arrested on felony charges of dealing in methamphetamine, dealing in a controlled substance and possession of methamphetamine and five misdemeanor drug-related charges.

A Columbus police officer checked the plates on Holcomb’s vehicle as she was traveling near the Northgate Addition on U.S. 31 shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday, police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers said. Court records show Holcomb’s driver’s license was suspended in April after she failed to pay a speeding ticket received in Lawrence County last fall.

K-9 Officer John Searle was called to the scene with his police dog, Max, which gave a positive alert for the presence of illegal drugs as he sniffed around the vehicle, Myers said.

A search of the vehicle turned up methamphetamine, marijuana, prescription pills and multiple plastic bags under the passenger seat of the vehicle, he said.

Holcomb, a former Columbus resident, also faces three counts of possession of a controlled substance plus possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

Holcomb was taken to the Bartholomew County Jail, where she was released on $1,000 cash bond the next day, jail officials said.

The office of Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash will determine what charges, if any, to file against Holcomb.

If convicted on all charges, she could be ordered to spend 10 to 57 years behind bars and face fines of up to $80,000.

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