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Woman charged in meth bust

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Crime > Rowena MacDonald allegedly was keeping the drugs for a friend

By Tris DeRoma

Police recently arrested Los Alamos resident Rowena L. MacDonald, 47, for storing methamphetamine for a drug dealer at her house at 76 Isleta Street in White Rock.

Police arrested her Nov. 21 on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. She allegedly was keeping 42.7 grams (1.6 ounces) of the drug for a friend who was attempting to sell some of it in White Rock.

Police first became aware of the drugs when they arrested two suspects Nov. 6 as part of an investigation of drug dealing in White Rock and Los Alamos. The suspects were Daniel Hoth, of Los Alamos and Barry Simmons, of Albuquerque. Police were targeting Hoth, who was wanted on a Los Alamos District Court warrant for drug trafficking.

A search of the car, which was Hoth’s, revealed a small amount of methamphetamine and assorted drug paraphernalia. The two were arrested and charged with trafficking a controlled substance, conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. They are due to appear in Los Alamos Magistrate Court sometime in January to face the charges against them.

During an interview with police shortly after their arrest, Simmons, according to court documents, revealed he came up from Albuquerque to sell the drugs. When the deal didn’t happen, he took the drugs to a house located at 76 Isleta St. in White Rock, where MacDonald lived. Simmons said MacDonald’s boyfriend, Tracy Fowler, of Rio Rancho supplied $2,000 to buy the drugs for the sale. Simmons and Hoth were to sell the meth for $4,000.

Police then, according to court documents, went to the house and confiscated the drugs, but did not arrest MacDonald at the time. When she was later brought in for an interview, she at first denied knowing what was in Simmons’ backpack. But police said about 30 minutes into the interview she admitted to knowing about the contents of the backpack.

“I didn’t recognize it to be anything but probably crystal meth,” she said to police. “I also want you to know that I am not condoning any type of that. I wasn’t involved in any type of that and I did not do the right thing by saying (to him) you need to get out my house or call 911 and have you (the police) over immediately. I feel guilty about that I know that’s wrong.”

Police corroborated her statement with the physical description of the drugs and how they were packaged.
MacDonald was later released on a $4,000 cash-only bond and is due to appear in court Dec. 4 to have the charges read to her as well as to determine her legal counsel.

When MacDonald was arrested, she was just starting a five year probation period from drug charges stemming from an arrest in Missouri earlier in the year. In February of this year, Los Alamos Police extradited her to St. Louis County, Mo., based on a warrant issued by the St. Louis County Police.

The original charges were manufacturing/delivering a controlled substance (methamphetamine).

According to the warrant issued by police, MacDonald told them that the Missouri courts allowed her to serve out her probation in New Mexico and that if she did not to incur any other charges during that period, the Missouri charge would be dropped.