Last week, a deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office conducted a routine traffic stop in Ocala that turned out to be anything but routine.
According to the police report, the registered owner of the vehicle, a white Hyundai, matched the description of the driver, who had a a suspended license and warrant out for her arrest.
A computer check revealed the woman, later identified as Patricia Curtin, had two prior convictions for driving with a suspended license. She had a young girl in the car with her, the arrest affidavit said.
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While the deputy was going over the woman’s information, he noticed that Curtin instructed the child to put her wallet in her backpack and take it with her to school.
“Well, that was a red flag,” read a Facebook post on the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page, “so deputies asked if they could search the bookbag.”
In the girl’s bag, they located Curtin’s black wallet, which contained a “clear zip-top bag” of a clear blue crystal that later tested positive as methamphetamine, read the report.
“Post-Miranda, Patricia told deputies that she thought there might have been something illegal in her wallet so she told the kid to take it so she wouldn’t get into more trouble,” read the Facebook post.
The police report added that Curtin, a farm labor worker, told deputies that the meth was from a friend who owed her a “favor.”
“Patricia Curtin actively encouraged 12-year-old to commit an act that could have reasonably been expected to result in physical or mental injury to her or classmates in her school,” the deputy wrote.
The 44-year-old mother was arrested on charges of possession, driving with a suspended license, distributing Schedule II hallucinogen to someone under 18 and child abuse. She was held on $30,000 bail and remained in custody.