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Pill pusher conviction upheld


The conviction of a Spokane woman, Maya Michelle Campbell, 29, who was convicted for having 750 Ecstasy pills in her purse, was upheld last week in appellate court in Spokane.

The woman was arrested, along with Jeffrey Vernon Joseph, Nespelem, who was 18 at the time of the arrest. A minor, who was driving the car, was also arrested. The incident occurred, Sept. 9, 2008, in the H&H Grocery parking lot in Electric City.

Campbell argued in the appeal that a search warrant didn’t include her purse.

The Washington State Court of Appeals disagreed and in its opinion stated that the “officer believed the purse was going to be within the scope of the search warrant.”

The drug sting, involved three Grand Coulee police officers, Sean Cook, Joe Higgs and Dan Holland.

Police used a confidential informant to make a purchase of the pills. It was set up in the Electric City parking lot with officers within earshot of the transaction.

Joseph went to the car several times to confer with his partner, became apprehensive about the situation and drove off.  

Police stopped the vehicle shortly afterward and ordered the three occupants out of the car.  Campbell left her purse inside. Police then applied and received a search warrant and discovered over 750 ecstasy pills inside in Campbell’s purse. At the time, police stated that the street value of the pills was between $20,000 and $25,000.  

Campbell was charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver as well as a single count of possession.

A Grant County Superior Court judge had ruled the search was lawful. That decision was appealed.

MDMA is one of the most widely used illicit drugs in the world, police stated, and is taken in a variety of contexts. While police noted it was commonly associated with the “rave” culture a decade ago, recent reports indicate the stimulant is now seen as a way to lose weight.

After a period of some decline, its use is now rising, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Two people in separate incidents near Vancouver, British Columbia died from its use in the past few months.

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