By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – Speeding on speed will get a person busted.
Lisa Marie Maennche, 22, was arrested and booked into the Graham County Jail on Dec. 8 on multiple drug counts after a deputy located roughly 170 grams of methamphetamine in the trunk of the car Maennche was driving. That amount of the drug is worth approximately $13,600 on the street when sold at the going rate of $80 per gram.
Maennche told officers the drugs did not belong to her but to the registered owner of the car, Todd Anthony Snedden, 51, who has a history of drug offenses. However, in Arizona and most other jurisdictions, the statute does not define “owner” for the crime but merely whomever is in possession of the contraband.
According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, Maennche was driving a grey car northbound on U.S. Highway 191 when she passed a deputy who was stationary at the highway’s intersection with Armory Road, just south of Safford. The deputy noted Maennche appeared to be going faster than the posted speed limit of 45 mph and calibrated her speed on his radar between 51-54 mph.
The deputy initiated a traffic stop, and Maennche pulled over near Red Mile Road in Safford. At that point she exited the vehicle and had to be instructed to return.
Upon contact, the deputy noticed tell-tale signs of drug use and both Maennche and her male passenger, Robert Michael Benavidez, 22, admitted to recently using illicit substances. Benavidez said he had recently used black tar heroin, and Maennche said she had used both heroin and meth.
After failing a field sobriety test, Maennche was placed under arrest while her passenger was released. Both Maennche and Benavidez said they were driving to cash a $500 check for Snedden that was previously used Dec. 5 to bond out Benavidez, who was in jail on charges of criminal trespass in the second degree, resisting arrest and criminal littering.
While Maennche was submitting to a blood draw at the Thatcher Police Department for DUI testing, another deputy completed his tow inventory of the car and located 170 grams of meth and some drug paraphernalia in the trunk. The drugs were located in two separate containers in the trunk, the first container had a bag with a single, white, 92-gram rock of meth, while the other container had five bags of meth rock/powder mix of 14 grams each. The deputy also located several items of paraphernalia, including a meth pipe with drug residue, straw with white powder residue and Zip Lock baggies.
Benavidez asserted the meth belonged to Snedden, and that she was unaware the contraband was in the car when she took it. She did say she remembers Snedden “showing” off the drugs and that she touched them at that time, likely leaving her fingerprints on the packaging.
Benavidez denied any knowledge of the drugs or Maennche’s or Snedden’s alleged involvement with meth. He was released and advised that he could face criminal charges after a review of the report by the Graham County Attorney’s Office.
Maennche was booked into the jail on charges of possession of a dangerous drug, possession of a dangerous drug for sale, transportation of a dangerous drug for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia. An additional charge of DUI-drugs is pending blood test analysis.