Police: Grandma had 2 pounds of pot brownies in car
A California grandmother visiting relatives in the Westmoreland County area over Thanksgiving ran afoul of the law Sunday when police said she drove through a stop sign with a nontraditional dessert in her car.
Norma Jean Francy, 61, of San Diego had 2 pounds of marijuana-laced brownies, individually packaged in 21 plastic bags, in the car's trunk and 2 ounces of pot in her purse and under her seat, Trooper Donald Ament of the Greensburg barracks alleges.
Ament reported in an affidavit that he was on patrol at 7:40 p.m. Sunday near the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange when he saw a 2017 Chevrolet Sonic go through a stop sign as it turned south onto Route 711 North from Main Street.
Ament said he pulled over Francy's car and noticed “a strong odor of marijuana.”
Francy told the trooper she had just visited a sister-in-law in Mt. Pleasant and was on her way to Johnstown, noting she became nervous and emotional as he spoke to her.
“I asked Francy what was wrong and she related that she hasn't seen her grandkids in a long time and was traveling from Mt. Pleasant to Johnstown to visit her son and grandkids,” Ament wrote.
During the traffic stop, Ament said, Francy gave him permission to look inside the trunk of the rental car. He said he saw the bowl of packaged brownies but wasn't sure they were the source of the smell.
“I asked Francy if there was marijuana inside the brownies, to which Francy related, “Yes. There is,' ” Ament wrote. “She related she ate the brownies to help her sleep.”
Ament said there was still a strong smell of marijuana inside the car after he confiscated the brownies so he searched Francy's purse, where he found the additional marijuana. Ament reportedly found another bag containing the drug under the seat and a third plastic bag of marijuana seeds.
Francy has no prior criminal record, Ament said.
She was cited for two counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of a small amount of marijuana for personal use, careless driving and failing to stop at a stop sign. She was charged via mailed summons. A preliminary hearing will be scheduled before Ligonier District Judge Denise Thiel.
Francy could not be reached for comment, and an attorney was not listed in court filings.
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.