Tips from the public led to two marijuana busts in one day for Franklin County law enforcement — including an elementary school instructional aide who was allegedly smoking marijuana on her lunch break.
Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said his office received anonymous information on the text-a-tip line about drug use near Westridge Elementary School.
A deputy, who was working as a school resource officer, found the vehicle that the tipster described parked in a nearby development area off school property, Melton said.
As he approached the vehicle, the deputy allegedly saw 56-year-old Barbara Warnick sitting inside, lighting a marijuana pipe.
Melton said Warnick was on her lunch break from Westridge Elementary, where she works as an instructional aide.
She was arrested, charged with possession of marijuana and buying/possessing drug paraphernalia.
Also Friday, Melton said deputies caught an alleged marijuana dealer after finding a picture of the man posing with his stash.
A lost cell phone was left on the same school resource officer’s vehicle, Melton said. When the deputy turned it on to try to determine who it belonged to, he allegedly saw a picture of a man posing with a large amount of marijuana.
The image had been set as the phone’s cover photo, Melton said.
After he turned the phone over to the sheriff’s office, deputies allegedly determined that the man in the picture was 23-year-old Tyler Sanderson.
During a search of his home, Melton said deputies recovered about 18 pounds of marijuana.
Sanderson was arrested and charged with trafficking in more than 5 pounds of marijuana and buying/possessing drug paraphernalia.