By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – A 19-year-old woman was apprehended Monday, May 6, with a small amount of heroin and a meth pipe after officers observed her leave a residence known for drug activity.
According to a Safford Police report, officers were observing activity in the 900 block of 3rd Avenue at about 11:52 a.m. when they noticed a woman carrying a grocery bag full of items leave a residence through an alley off Central Avenue and 9th Street.
As the woman, later identified as Tiffany Anne Morton, of Safford, encountered the officers near the intersection of 9th Street and 3rd Avenue, she agreed to speak with them.
Morton advised she had been at a friend’s house all morning and was walking back to her own residence. The officers then advised Morton that the area she was in has a drug problem and inquired if she had ever been in trouble before. At that point, Morton allegedly advised the officers that she had a drug charge out of Maricopa County concerning marijuana.
However, according to online court records, Morton actually has a warrant for her arrest out of Goodyear Municipal Court regarding a failure to appear on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. The warrant was issued March 12 and has a bond of $2,500.
The officer noticed black smudges on Morton’s fingers that he believed was indicative of heroin use and asked if she had anything illegal. Morton then produced a 750-ml bottle of Fireball whiskey from her plastic bag and said her friend had given it to her.
The officer told Morton that it appeared she also had something in her bra and Morton retrieved a pocketknife from her underclothing.
The officer said there appeared to be more items concealed in the bra and Morton began to cry and denied having anything else. She then said she only had a glass pipe but later admitted to also having “$20 worth” of heroin. Morton then gave the officer the pipe, a baggie containing .2 of a gram of heroin, and tin foil with drug residue.
Morton began crying again and said she just wanted to go home and advised that she was going to go to rehab the following day.
Since a female officer was not available to search Morton further, she was given her grocery bag back and released. The heroin, whiskey, and drug paraphernalia were placed into evidence. Charges are pending a review of the officer’s report by prosecutors.
There are various out-patient facilities to help opiate addicts in the Gila Valley, including Community Medical Services, Awakening Recovery Center, and Canyonlands Healthcare. Groups are also actively working on bringing a sober living home to the area as well as a fully functional rehabilitation facility.