Vernon couple charged for smoking meth, loitering in church parking lot


WASHINGTON COUNTY, FL – Two Vernon residents are behind bars today on methamphetamine charges following loitering in a church parking lot late last night.

On April 15th at approximately 11:55 p.m., Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies witnessed a vehicle parked in the parking lot of a local church. As deputies approach the vehicle, the lights came on and the vehicle began to exit the parking lot. A traffic stop was initiated. Deputies made contact with the occupants of the vehicle and conducted a brief check of their license. Also, a department issued K-9 was deployed at this time.

The deputy received a positive alert from the K-9 to the presence of narcotics coming from the vehicle. As deputies were speaking with the passenger of the vehicle, 44-year-old, Serena Cherlane Shipes, she was witnessed to have a glass smoking pipe with visible narcotics inside, sticking out of her shirt.

Shipes was also asked if there were any other illegal items in the vehicle to which she responded, “not to my knowledge”. A search of the vehicle was conducted. The vehicle was found to have several illegal items concealed in it. While speaking with the driver of the vehicle, 44-year-old, Christopher Dwight Ford, he admitted some of the items were his. Both occupants were arrested and booked into the Washington County Jail on Charges of possession of a methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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