Check forgery cases may have sparked drug bust

Published 10:20 am Friday, September 2, 2016

A Tuesday drug arrest may have come because the suspects’ roommate was previously arrested in a series of check forgeries and financial fraud cases.

hansonAmanda Jo Hanson, 34, and Joseph Perry White, 30, were each charged Thursday in Mower County court with two felonies: fifth-degree drug possession and storing methamphetamine paraphernalia in the presence of a child, along with a petty misdemeanor for possessing a small amount of marijuana.

According to court records, Hanson and White were arrested after officers executed a search warrant around 1:42 a.m. on the 1600 block of East Oakland Avenue.

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When officers knocked on the door, they saw a child at the window and two adult males run out the back door.

Officers breached the door and detained Hanson, White and another adult male who has not been charged.

Hanson told officers she knew why they were there: Her roommate, Meranda Lynn O’Connor, led police to them. O’Connor faces six felony charges in three cases tied to financial fraud and check forgeries.

Hanson told police she knew O’Connor was forging checks, so after her arrest she got rid of all of O’Connor’s possessions at the residence. Officers did not locate any of O’Connor’s belongings during a search.

Officers found about 3 grams of methamphetamine, a glass meth pipe, a digital scale, about 5.5 grams of marijuana and $250.

The two are being held in the Mower County jail awaiting formal charges, which could include fifth-degree drug possession and possessing meth in the presence of a child.

Three children at the residence were placed in foster care through Mower County Health and Human Services.

White was convicted of felony fifth-degree drug possession stemming from a July 15, 2014, incident in which a witness reported observing Hanson and White smoke marijuana in the presence of children. The subsequent investigation uncovered that White had meth, which Hanson denied knowing about.

Hanson’s charges from that incident were later dismissed.

Both Hanson and White are next due in court on Sept. 15.