By Joe Bachman
Two women face charges of methamphetamine and narcotics possession after a K-9 unit positively identified the controlled substances in a vehicle they rode in.
Rebecca Palmieri, 37, of Wisconsin Rapids, and Christine Hartnell, 26, of Adams, are both charged with possession of methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia, with Palmieri charged specifically for possession of narcotics.
According to police reports on Apr. 4, an officer observed a woman acting unusual outside of a business on the 100 block of Market St. in Nekoosa. The officer observed the woman enter a vehicle, which he followed and stopped on State Highway 93 near County Highway Z for failure to turn on their headlights.
Reportedly inside the vehicle were passengers identified as Rebecca Palmieri and Christine Hartnell. Palmieri was issued a citation for keeping open intoxicants inside of the vehicle.
Soon after, the officer conducted a search of the vehicle with help of the Wood County K-9 unit, and the K-9 positively indicated the odor of illegal substances inside of the vehicle. Inside the vehicle, officers found a blue purse belonging to Palmieri that contained a black plastic baggie that contained a white, crystal type substance that weighed approximately 1.7 grams.
The substance inside the baggie tested positive for methamphetamine. A second baggie was found with a similar substance inside, that weighed 1 gram. A purple backpack was also found in Palmieri’s possession that contained drug paraphernalia, including items associated with intravenous drug use, and small tin cups used to cook the substances prior to use.
A brown purse was reported to have been found inside the vehicle belonging to Hartnell. Inside the purse was a white baggie which contained a substance later tested and confirmed to be methamphetamine. The purse also held a digital scale with a powdery substance on it.
Hartnell claimed that both the baggie and scale belonged to someone else.
Palmieri allegedly retrieved a small, blue glass pipe from her pants and voluntarily gave it to police. She stated that the pipe was used to smoke methamphetamine, but that someone in the vehicle gave it to her to hide, and that it was not hers.
Palmieri also voluntarily disclosed that she had a baggie of heroin on her. She was taken to Wood County jail, where she was taken to cell so she could retrieve the baggie of heroin, which was in her underwear. Later tests confirmed the substance to be heroin.
If convicted, Palmieri faces up to a combined seven years imprisonment and up to $20,000 in fines for possession of narcotics and methamphetamine. Hartnell faces up to three years and six months imprisonment for possession of methamphetamine, and up to $10,000 in fines.
Their pre-trial conferences are scheduled for May 13.