BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Asked if she lost a purse, Detentions Deputy Elizabeth Fernandez said, “I know where this is going, yes.”
She knew staff at Lerdo Jail had found drugs and drug paraphernalia inside her purse, but claimed she found the illicit items in a bathroom stall inside the facility and had meant to take them to a supervisor, newly-released court documents say.
An investigator didn’t believe her. He asked if she was sticking to that story.
Fernandez, a 21-year Kern County Sheriff’s Office veteran, then admitted to smoking methamphetamine the past few months, using it daily before going to work, according to the documents. She said she buys the drug from an acquaintance on the street.
“She explained that a single use of methamphetamine in the morning would last her all shift (8 hours),” an investigator wrote.
Last week, Fernandez, 42, was charged with three misdemeanors: possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia and being under the influence of drugs. A pretrial conference is scheduled Aug. 12.
The meth and meth pipe found in the purse — described as a small white and yellow zippered pouch with lemons printed on it — belonged to her, Fernandez told investigators. Her drug habit costs about $30 a month, she said.
She said she never gave drugs to anyone at Lerdo.
According to the filings, a sheriff’s employee on May 31 found the pouch tucked away in a toilet paper dispenser inside a Pre-Trial Facility bathroom. The employee turned it over to supervisors.
Later, a sergeant received word Fernandez was “frantically” searching for a small zippered pouch.
Investigators examined her. She had “severe eyelid tremors,” a white coating on her tongue and rapid pulse averaging 106 beats per minute, the reports say.
Sheriff’s officials say Fernandez’s job duties at the time of her arrest did not involve carrying a gun. Her job status as of Tuesday was unclear.