BANGOR, Maine — A local woman taken to jail Saturday morning for theft of services was later seen by a jail intake officer consuming the synthetic drug known as bath salts, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.
“She was caught doing it by a very alert jail guard,” the sergeant said.
Kari Hersey, 26, of Bangor was “body packing” the recently outlawed lab-made drug when she was processed into the Penobscot County Jail at about 8 a.m. Saturday and was charged with felony trafficking in prison contraband, Edwards said.
She was seen consuming the hidden drugs at around noon and was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center, he said.
Bath salts, a designer drug that became illegal in Maine at the beginning of July, usually contain mephedrone or Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV. Police, doctors and emergency responders have reported signs of paranoia, hallucinations, convulsions and psychotic behavior in users of the drug.
Police initially came into contact with Hersey on Saturday morning when a manager at Holiday Inn called to report that she left without paying for her room. Hersey stayed at the Odlin Street motel three nights — at $85 per night — and reportedly left without paying for the last night. She was quickly found by Bangor police Officer Dan Sanborn, who arrested her and charged her with misdemeanor theft of services and for violating her bail conditions.
She also was assessed a $200 penalty by the motel for smoking inside the room she rented, Edwards said.
Over the past two years, Hersey has been convicted four times of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs and three times of operating a vehicle without a license. She also has convictions for assault, disorderly conduct, violating conditions of release, and failing to notify police of a motor vehicle accident, according to court listings in the Bangor Daily News.
If convicted of the felony trafficking in prison contraband charge from Saturday, Hersey could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. (Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN)