Woman accused of bringing drugs to jail

Alexandrea McPhederain

Alexandrea McPhederain

LAWRENCEVILLE -- When visiting the Gwinnett County Jail, certain items are considered contraband and not allowed in the building.

Marijuana is one of them.

Saturday night, deputies arrested 18-year-old Alexandrea McPhederain after she was allegedly caught at the X-ray machine with a small amount of the drug.

According to reports, McPhederain's boots set the machine off and, as she was removing her boots, the baggie of marijuana fell onto the floor. She was immediately arrested and the drugs seized, reports said.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Stacey Bourbonnais said McPhederain appeared to be intoxicated, her eyes appeared glazed and she smelled strongly of marijuana.

Bourbonnais said McPhederain, now charged with crossing a guard line with drugs and marijuana possession, said she was at the jail to visit an inmate.

Sheriff Butch Conway said it seems as though jail would be the one place people would know better than to bring illegal substances.

"If someone is stupid enough to get caught doing that, a jail cell is exactly where they need to be for a long time," Conway said. "That being said, this is where we want our deputies to catch it -- at the X-ray machine as (visitors) are being screened to enter the building."

This arrest marks the second time this month drugs were found at the jail entrance. On Dec. 11, two women were arrested after deputies allegedly found baggies of methamphetamine and Xanax stuffed into a cigarette pack.

In that incident, 28-year-old Meagan Williams, of Buford, reportedly struggled with a deputy who detected the drugs and Melissa Wilkerson, 37, of Norcross, ran into the building and joined the fray.

Wilkerson, deputies said, managed to snatch the cigarette pack and make a break for freedom, but was caught in the parking lot by deputies.

A search of the women's vehicle revealed scales and bags associated with the sale of illegal drugs, deputies said.

Both women were charged with violating Georgia's Controlled Substances Act, obstructing a law enforcement officer, crossing a guard line with drugs and possessing tools for the commission of a crime.