School employee allegedly caught smoking pot on lunch break

In separate case, man charged with trafficking

By Kristina Belcher, Published:

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.

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  • tabo, May 12, 2014 9:33AM

    "I will probably be the only person to speak up.  I am glad to see this story.  This was a school employee doing something illegal near school property.  I'm sure after a lunch of smoking in her car the smell would still be on her clothes when she returned to the school.  This is a very bad example for our children.  I'm glad they were caught.

    No matter what you think about pot, it is still illegal.  Until the laws are changed, I believe people who commit crimes should be arrested."

    Let me guess, and I am going way out on a limb here, you are a Republican, right?  And a darned good one too!!  

    So, if this nice lady had been out there in her car near school property smoking on a Marlboro, which is a legal drug that is the number 1 cause of preventable death in KY, and kills 2/3 of those who use it exactly as intended, is marketed directly to our children and is a highly addictive substance to most who use it, then it would have been OK with you, right?  

    Insane much?

  • I will probably be the only person to speak up.  I am glad to see this story.  This was a school employee doing something illegal near school property.  I'm sure after a lunch of smoking in her car the smell would still be on her clothes when she returned to the school.  This is a very bad example for our children.  I'm glad they were caught.

    No matter what you think about pot, it is still illegal.  Until the laws are changed, I believe people who commit crimes should be arrested.

  • capitalcitizen, May 10, 2014 5:50PM

    "You cannot fabricate the stupidity of people who use or deal drugs..." 

    So, what is your excuse?

  • You cannot fabricate the stupidity of people who use or deal drugs, so don't blame the Sheriff for arrests or the newspaper for reporting the news.

  • ffort2013, May 10, 2014 10:48AM

    "Come on Bruno-you know we will see one every single day until May 20th. He has to "keep his promise".  He is proud of his media relationships."

    I got this large card in the mail the other day from the Sheriff and apparently he is running for re-election on May 20th, which I assume is what you are talking about.  On that card right at the top he says"

    "Four years ago when you elected me, I made commitments to our community: to develop partnerships, to keep the community informed, to fight the infestation of drugs, to protect our most vulnerable, and to partol the four corners of this community.  I have kept my commitments." 

    Well, not exactly.  

    I guess that he did sorta develop a partnership with the State Journal to keep the community informed of all of the arrests of these lowest of low level druggies that he has been choking our legal system up with lately, as this newspaper is his biggest contributor of in-kind services by providing him all of this free publicity of his busts.  The State Journal has a full time cheerleader assigned to to very little other than print exactly what the Sheriff says verbatim regardless if it makes any sense or not...she never has even heard of a follow-up question. That surely comes in handy when it comes to election time.

    There is little doubt that his number one, 2,3,4,5, etc. priorities are all fighting what he calls an "infestation of drugs".  An infestation would indicate that there is a high incidence of drug use in our county, especially among our youth...an assertion that is not supported by the facts.

    "TEEN DRUG USE RATES DROP

    By Katheran Wasson Published: March 27, 2011 9:26PM

    Fewer Franklin County teens say they drink alcohol, smoke marijuana and abuse prescription drugs compared to 2008, a survey of 1,600 middle and high school students shows.

    Drinking rates fell between 2 and 7 percent at all grade levels, except a slight up tick among eighth-graders. Marijuana use is down between 1 and 6 percent, except among sophomores, and prescription abuse dropped between 1 and 5 percent, except among eighth-graders."

    So, unless drug use has gone up significantly since Melton has taken office, and I doubt that he would ever admit ot that, we simply do not have a significant illicit drug use problem, much less an "infestation", defined as "To inhabit or overrun in numbers or quantities large enough to be harmful, threatening, or obnoxious".   Methinks that the good Sheriff is partaking in his most favorite pastime...hyperbolie for political gain.

    As for the other commitments like to protect our most vulnerable, and to partol the four corners of this community, that simply is not happening.  The Sheriff can't do it all even with $1.8 MILLION P/Y of our tax money...so something had to go.  Well, one outta 5 ain't bad, huh?

  • Bruno, I've noticed that, too. "Is" at the beginning of a post will get redacted. Want to avoid it? Don't use it!

  • Come on Bruno-you know we will see one every single day until May 20th. He has to "keep his promise".  He is proud of his media relationships. 

  • Since when is the term "Is" a word = "***"?

  • Mr. Editor:

    How many stories like this are we gonna see in our newspaper this week?  Even if these drugs which you obviously don't approve of (although I'll bet that you have yours...what are they, sugar...I'll bet, and caffeine, alkihol, chocolate fer'sure, cholestrol or glutony...nicotine maybe?) remain illegal, why post these people's photos with a big story on the front page of the newspaper like its really important every time our overzealous constabulary scores another hit by arresting the lowest of the low hanging fruit?  YOU live for posting these stories 3-4 times a week, while folks are choking their arteries with them lip-smaking ribs and drinking brewskies (and then driving) at your family's bar-b-que joint!  Such hypocrisy.

    It is not like these people got someone killed, like our good Sheriff and FBI indicted Matt Brown apparently did with poor Charlie Monroe...coercing him into being a CI to make a drug sting at Walmart where they killed him.

    *** it really THAT big a deal that they were able to catch some citizens (mostly poor kids, minorities no less) fooling around with some drugs, that you obviously don't approve of, that we need to publicly humiliate them. Why not just take them down in front of the court house and put their heads and arms into pillory stocks and then you can go down and spit in their faces or take a turn with the bull whip...I will be that would get your editorial juices flowing.