The Daily Review

Sayre woman found with bath salts

Athens Township police arrested a Sayre woman Monday after finding her in possession of over nine grams of bath salts.

Police charged Valerie Marie Bennici, 32, with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and operating a vehicle with a suspended license, according to a criminal complaint filed with Magisterial District Judge Michael Shaw's office.

Bennici was arraigned Monday and remanded to the Bradford County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail. Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 24.

Officers made contact with Bennici, the operator of a Jeep Wrangler, and a male passenger at about 4:22 a.m. Monday after observing the vehicle parked in the parking lot of Tanner's Bar and Grill on Route 199, according to police. The bar was closed for business and officers observed fresh tire prints from Route 199 to the parking lot, police said.

Bennici told police she had pulled into the lot because she and the passenger were arguing, police said.

Police said Bennici did not have identification on her person, and a check of her name and date of birth revealed that her license was suspended.

Both Bennici and the passenger appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, according to police. Bennici later admitted to smoking bath salts at a Towanda residence at about 2 a.m. Monday with the passenger and another individual, police said.

A search of the passenger turned up a small container holding white powder, marked with the name "Zombie Matter," a container police said is commonly used to store bath salts.

Police said officers observed Bennici moving items around in the vehicle while police talked with the passenger. A search of the vehicle turned up a digital scale, pellet handgun, baseball bat, multiple folding knives and a large amount of currency, police said.

A search of Bennici's person revealed she was in possession of a glass smoking pipe with burnt residue and a cloth pouch containing 9.8 grams of bath salts divided into small plastic bags, police said. Police also found a wallet containing a large amount of currency.

A total of $4,041 was found in Bennici's possession, police said.

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