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Dunnellon woman caught sleeping with guns and drugs in running vehicle

Alexa Morgan Catherwood

A Dunnellon woman was charged with drug possession and carrying unlicensed firearms after she and a man were found asleep in a running car on a roadway in Ocklawaha.

Alexa Morgan Catherwood, 26, of 13125 SW 85th Place, was asleep in the passenger seat of a blue SUV that a Marion County sheriff’s deputy came upon shortly before 7 p.m. Thursday along the 7500 block of SE 137th Avenue Road. The deputy approached the vehicle and awakened a man who was asleep in the driver seat with the vehicle still in drive, according to the sheriff’s office report.

After making sure the occupants were in good health, the deputy checked their identification and returned it to them. He asked Catherwood if he could look through the vehicle and she said, “I don’t have a problem with that.” When the driver was getting out of the vehicle, the deputy observed a black handgun under the driver side seat, the report said.

The deputy asked both the driver and Catherwood to sit in the back of his patrol car while he continued the investigation. Catherwood had a brown purse, and she gave the deputy permission to look inside it, according to the report.

Inside the purse, the deputy found two spoons, two syringes containing a clear liquid, multiple baggies containing a brown powdery residue, and a small bag containing a brown powdery substance. The clear liquid tested positive for Fentanyl, while the brown powdery substance tested positive for heroin, the report said.

Also in the purse was a small silver handgun with one round in the chamber and three in the magazine. The deputy looked inside the vehicle and found the handgun he saw earlier under the driver’s seat. The gun was a U.S. Army M1911 .45-caliber pistol, according to the report.

After being read their Miranda rights, both Catherwood and the driver refused to speak about the incident. But while on the way to the patrol car, the driver spontaneously said the firearm under the seat was Catherwood’s and she put it there, the report said.

Catherwood was arrested and charged with possession of heroin, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, carrying a concealed weapon without a license, and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was released Friday from the Marion County Jail on $7,000 bond.

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