Putnam County couple arrested on drug charges

Putnam County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Bonnie Baggs, left, and Matthew Willis
Putnam County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Bonnie Baggs, left, and Matthew Willis

A Putnam County couple accused of trespassing and suspected of shoplifting was arrested on drug charges Friday evening in Hollister, according to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office.

Bonnie Lee Baggs, 31 of San Mateo, and Matthew Willis, 52 of Hollister, were booked into the Putnam County Jail on charges of possession of morphine, possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence. Willis was also charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Deputies Kacie Reynolds and Thomas Appleby responded to an employee's complaint of trespassing at the Dollar General Store in Hollister. The employee told police a third person had been given a trespass warning earlier to stay out of the store, and the employee also requested that Baggs and Willis, who were outside waiting for the third person, be given warning not to trespass at the business.

All three were suspected of shoplifting from the store.

The deputies conducted a pat down search of Baggs and Willias as a safety measure and discovered a plastic bag containing wet coffee filters in Willis' pocket.

Appleby, who is a member of the Sheriff's Office Methamphetamine Response Unit, immediately recognized the wet filters as part of the paraphernalia used to manufacture "one pot methamphetamine."

The filters tested positive for methamphetamine.

As the investigation continued, Reynolds and Appleby found a syringe in Baggs' purse, which she admitted she used for injecting "pills."

Both Willis and Baggs were placed under arrest without incident, handcuffed and transported to the Putnam County Jail. While on the way to the jail, the deputies noticed Willis and Baggs fidgeting together in the back seat of the patrol car.

When they arrived in the sally port of the jail, the officers removed the couple from the car and discovered three syringes stuffed under the back seat. One of the syringes tested positive for morphine.

Baggs was booked into the jail under $3,516 bond, and Willis' bond was set at $4,520.