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Dumpster-diving woman charged with meth possession

Nicole Marie Scheffler
Nicole Marie Scheffler

A Eustis woman who was reportedly dumpster diving behind Big Lots was arrested early Tuesday after methamphetamine and a pipe were found inside her purse.

Eustis police responded to an alarm call at the store – located at 405 Plaza Drive – at around 2:20 a.m. As one of the officers approached the shopping plaza, he observed a vehicle with its lights on. There were two people inside the vehicle and one female walking away, according to the police report.

Officers spoke with the female driver and male passenger who were inside the vehicle. They said their friend was dumpster diving. An officer found the woman who was walking away and brought her back to the vehicle. Once back at the vehicle, the woman opened the rear passenger door, removed a peach-colored wallet from a purse, and handed her ID card to the officer.  She was identified as 50-year-old Nicole Marie Scheffler, of 38221 Deerwoods Drive, the report said.

Officers received permission to search the vehicle. They asked who the purse belonged to and Scheffler said it was hers. Inside the purse was a glasses case with dark-colored glasses and a small glass pipe with a round top, which is the type commonly used to smoke methamphetamine. Also inside the glasses case was a plastic bag containing a crystallized substance that tested positive for meth. No other illegal items or substances were found inside the vehicle, according to the report.

After being read her Miranda warning, Scheffler said the wallet was hers but the purse was not. Asked why her wallet was inside the purse, Scheffler said she said the purse belonged to her friend, “Erica,” and she had placed her wallet inside it. There were no items inside the purse that had the name, “Erica,” on them, the report said.

The female driver told officers that “Erica” did not exist. She said Scheffler has been reaching out for help due to her drug addiction. Scheffler was placed under arrest, while the driver and male passenger were released, according to the report.

Scheffler was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was booked at the Eustis police station and taken to the Lake County Jail, where she posted $3,000 bond. Scheffler is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on Jan. 17.

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