Rebecca J. Arndt

Rebecca J. Arndt. 

DECATUR — A warrant was issued Tuesday for the arrest of a 21-year-old Decatur woman police said was part of a plan to smuggle methamphetamine-laced coloring book pages into the Macon County Jail.

Rebecca J. Arndt failed to show up in Macon County Circuit Court on Tuesday afternoon for her arraignment on two charges of delivering meth, one count of bringing the drug into a penal institution and one count of possessing cannabis.

She was arrested May 10 and been free since May 12 after posting $25,000 bond.

A sworn Macon County Sheriff’s Office affidavit said Arndt is the niece of jail inmate Damien O. McClure, 36, who is facing charges he ran a meth distribution ring inside the jail. The affidavit said using meth-laced coloring book pictures supplied in part by Arndt, he tore the pages into strips and sold them to other inmates.

McClure, known to Arndt as “Uncle Damo,” wrote an admiring letter from jail back to her, according to Detective T.J. Wolfe, who investigated the case. “‘Tell my niece very good job and I’ll be writing her back soon,’” Wolfe wrote in the affidavit, quoting from the letter. 

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McClure is pleading not guilty to charges of meth trafficking, possession of meth, and two counts of possession of the drug in a penal institution.

A second woman involved in the drug supply operation, Tammy L. Leigh, 46, was sentenced May 23 to 24 months probation. She had accepted a plea deal negotiated by Chief Public Defender Dave Ellison that saw her plead guilty to possession of a controlled substance in a penal institution; two charges of meth trafficking and one extra count of possession were dismissed.

McClure is due in court again for a pretrial hearing July 29. Presiding Judge A.G. Webber IV scheduled a bond forfeiture hearing for Arndt on July 26.

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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