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Surprising Arrest Earns Defendant the Nickname "Ganja Granny"

28-Apr-2014

Patsey Marlene Maxwell is described by a neighbor as "a little ole bitty lady." The 83-year-old woman lives in Stonewall, Oklahoma, a small town with a population of fewerthan 500 people. Her little yellow and white home features a welcoming porch flanked by bird feeders.

Police say that this small town grandma had interests far beyond bird watching, though. When people called authorities to report a large number of vehicles coming and going from Maxwell's home, they decided to investigate. 

After a confidential informant twice purchased marijuana from Maxwell, law enforcement executed a search warrant. What they found surprised them.

Investigators say they found substantial evidence indicating that the elderly woman was selling high quality marijuana from her home. They say they found two pounds of marijuana "sitting on a rocking chair" in the living room. In the kitchen, they discovered more marijuana packaged in one ounce and half ounce portions. 

Drug Task Force Agent James Kennedy said investigators also found "a set of digital scales, a used glass smoking pipe containing burnt residue, a small yellow container containing marijuana. a silver Sterling .22 caliber LR semi-automatic pistol with a loaded magazine,a coin purse containing a ‘one hitter’ pipe and marijuana, a purse containing Maxwell’s ID and Oklahoma Access (welfare and food stamp) card...and approximately $536.” 

Investigators say the woman admitted to driving to Dallas to buy five pounds of marijuana from a dealer she refused to identify. She said she paid $1000 per pound, and that she travels to Dallas approximately every 60 days to purchase more. Maxwell allegedly told investigators that she sells the marijuana in half ounce or one ounce quantities, charging $50 or $100, respectively.

The "little ole bitty lady" was booked into the Potontoc County Justice Center and held on $50,000 bond. She posted bond later the same day and was released.

Patsey Maxwell was charged last Wednesday with several felony drug crimes, including possession of marijuana within 2000 feet of a school, two counts of distribution of marijuana within 2000 feet of a school, and two counts of unlawful use of communication facility for using a telecommunications device to facilitate a felony.

Distribution of marijuana is a felony drug offense that carries a minimum sentence of two years and up to life in prison on the first offense. Penalties are enhanced for committing a drug crime near a school.

Stonewall Police Chief Joshua Vincent said of Maxwell, “If you saw her you’d just think it was somebody’s grandma walking to the store or going to the post office." Now, newspaper headlines are calling her the "Ganja Granny."

Of course, anyone is innocent until proven guilty--even little old ladies. You may remember the arrest of 73-year-old Darlene Mayes in Vinita. Mayes was charged and called the leader of a drug ring after investigators found six pounds of marijuana, guns, and $277,000 cash in her farmhouse. The case against her was dropped just days after her 74th birthday.




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