Suspected drugs found in purse after woman arrested for shoplifting


A woman who had been arrested for misdemeanor shoplifting at the Walmart Supercenter late Saturday night will face felony drug charges after suspected methamphetamine was found in her purse at the adult detention center.

Melonie Underwood, 43, of Columbus, Miss., had been taken to the jail after she allegedly concealed items in her purse inside Walmart, police said in the initial report.

Police Vice and Narcotics Detective Bill Ablondi said in a probable cause affidavit that was presented in court Monday that he was called to the jail at 12:30 a.m. Sunday after a jail deputy reported finding a suspicious can in Underwood’s purse while she was being processed into the jail.

Deputy Prosecutor Nicole Pugh said the can contained two plastic bags of suspected methamphetamine and a piece of tin foil that had been burned.

Ablondi said in the affidavit that when he interviewed Underwood, she said the suspected methamphetamine was hers and was for personal use. She also allegedly said she thought she had left the suspected methamphetamine at home.

Pine Bluff District Judge John Kearney set a $10,000 bond for Underwood after ruling prosecutors had probable cause to charge her with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and introducing drugs into a correctional facility.

The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent Underwood.