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Search turns up more than 1,000 pills

SLAYTON -- A search warrant executed in September in Avoca has resulted in a felony drug possession charge for a woman after authorities discovered hundreds of prescription pills in the house.

Gretchen Marie Scott, aka Gretchen Marie DeGuara, 26, of Avoca, was charged Tuesday with fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a petty misdemeanor.

According to court documents, an informant spoke with authorities in September and said Scott had provided him with a Methadone pill that day and that he had more at home he had received from her in the past. When asked by law enforcement if Scott had more, the informant said she had lots of them, which were actually prescribed to her husband/boyfriend.

An officer secured the premises in Avoca while another obtained a search warrant. During the search, Scott stayed outside the residence, even after being told she could leave.

When an officer discussed the situation with Scott, including several accusations and reports he had received, she denied everything. In his report, the officer wrote that in his opinion, Scott made up excuses and lied about everything. She allegedly denied giving any of her husband's prescription medications to anyone.

A total pill count revealed there were 654 Methadone pills, 339 methocarbamol pills, 57 Skelaxin pills, 33 Celebrex pills and 24 Prednisone pills. Methadone is a pain killer, methocarbamol and Skelaxin are muscle relaxants, and Celebrex and Prednisone are used as an anti-inflammatory.

The pills were found in unlabeled bottles with pills mixed together, or in labeled bottles that dated back to 2004. All of the labeled bottles were in the name of Scott's husband. Many of the Methadone pills were allegedly found in pill bottles inside a black case in the couple's bedroom. Also in the bedroom was a programmable radio and charger and a scanner with an extra external speaker attached. The scanner was turned on, court documents state.

Authorities consulted experts in the form of a pharmacist and two physician assistant. The pharmacist commented it was unusual for a person to possess a large number of Methodone pills because of how restricted the controlled substance is.

The physician assistants stated it was highly unlikely a patient would be prescribed Methadone and be allowed to possess that much of the controlled substance. They also said the drug could be potentially dangerous if a child was to access it. According to the complaint, the drugs were not in any locked containers or kept out of reach of the children in the house.

Scott has previous convictions of dishonored checks, driving after suspension, theft, receiving stolen property, and disorderly conduct, and is on probation for third-degree burglary and aggravated forgery. Her first court appearance on the new charges is scheduled for 9:35 a.m. Nov. 3 at the Murray County District Courthouse in Slayton.