[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 02/25/20]
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EUSTIS, Florida — A woman who was detained for shoplifting was also busted with a trafficking amount of methamphetamine after she hid her loot in a purse with the methamphetamine.
Eustis Police responded to CVS Pharmacy, 1995 North State Road 19 on a shoplifting report, at 10 a.m. Monday, according to an arrest affidavit. An employee flagged an officer down and identified two suspects who were still on scene. The employee said he saw two people standing near the front of the store by a makeup display. The employee noticed Mariah Keri Protiva, 28, was holding a large amount of makeup and when he looked at her again, it was gone.
The employee reviewed video surveillance and saw Protiva put the makeup in a black and white striped purse. Protiva and a man exited the store and were confronted by the CVS employee. Lake Legal News is not naming the man Protiva was with, because he was not charged.
After confronting the pair, the employee was given two items of makeup back and he called police. An officer questioned Protiva and she admitted stealing about 10 items and began to rummage around in the black and white striped purse, the officer ordered her to stop, unaware if there was a weapon in the bag and began searching the bag himself. He found 28 E.L.F. brand makeup items — the same brand stolen from the store — and also found 15.4 grams of methamphetamine, according to the affidavit. Police also found a glass pipe. Protiva said she borrowed the purse and had no knowledge of any illegal items in the purse. The officer asked Protiva if she had anything else illegal on her person and she said “no.”
Protiva was taken to the Lake County Jail and the officer asked her again if she had anything illegal on her person; she said no and when a female detention deputy searched her, she found a Xanax pill. Protiva was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance; smuggling contraband into a detention facility, possession of drug equipment and petit theft. She is being held on $44,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]