Austin woman convicted of felony drug possession

An Austin woman who dropped a bag of cocaine near authorities while dealing with an apartment fire was found guilty of felony drug possession Wednesday in Mower County court.

Pamela Susan Peters, 23, had pleaded not guilty to the offense in March, but was convicted during a court trial in which two Austin police officers spoke about the incident.

A sentencing date has not been set.

According to a police report, police officers and firefighters arrived at Peters’ apartment around 10 p.m. on March 6. With the large amount of smoke coming from Peters’ room, the rest of the building’s tenants were evacuated temporarily.

No one responded to a knock on the unit’s door, so firefighters broke in.

They found no fire source, instead linking the smoke back to burnt food, the report states.

Peters was called to the apartment while firefighters were inside. She said someone had been staying with her and probably left something cooking before leaving. Peters said she had left the apartment and her guest about eight hours earlier.

While Peters checked the residence with authorities, an officer noticed her drop a small bag of cocaine on the floor, according to a criminal complaint. Peters, who was also wanted on a Freeborn County warrant for a previous allegation, was arrested for the drug possession. She denied knowledge of the cocaine, the complaint states.

No residents of the apartment complex were injured during the incident, and they were able to return to their rooms shortly after firefighters responded.

According to records, Peters has a prior felony drug conviction from October 2009.