She worked for the sheriff’s office for 24 years. Then her colleagues got a tip.

Gwendolyn Laughery
Gwendolyn Laughery

On Wednesday, Polk County Sheriff’s deputies had to arrest one of their own.

Gwendolyn Laughery of Winter Haven had worked for the sheriff’s office since 1994, according to a news release.

Her Linked In profile lists her as the PCSO’s “records coordinator.”

“I am responsible for completing all 911/non emergency audio files for ‘ALL’ requests that come to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office,” reads her profle. “I also assist , when needed, the new Training Officers within my department.”

As per the police report, investigators got a tip that Laughery might be in possession of illegal drugs, and a K-9 was sent to sniff the outside of her car.

A search of the interior of the vehicle revealed two glass pipes and a glass bowl with a small amount of methamphetamine.

Laughery admitted to investigators that she had been using meth as well as marijuana for the past three to five months, said the release. She subsequently resigned, but would have been terminated regardless, say authorities.

The 41-year-old was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, a felony, and paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, and booked into the Polk County jail. She was released on $1,500 bail.

Soon after her arrest, the former staffer pointed detectives to her boyfriend, Jeremy Owens. The 36-year-old Winter Haven resident surrendered a box to deputies when they reached him at his home.

“The box contained several used needles, plastic bags, a spoon with burnt methamphetamine residue and a small amount of marijuana,” said the report. “The box was kept in a bathroom, which could have easily been accessed by any of Owens’ three children who were home at the time, potentially putting them in danger.”

Owens was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, negligent child abuse, possession of paraphernalia, storing a controlled substance in a dwelling and possession of marijuana.

The sheriff’s office says Owens has quite the criminal past. Charges include aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, resisting arrest, grand theft, felony petit theft, shoplifting, possession of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, paraphernalia, destroying evidence, probation Viola

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tion and failure to appear.