ANDERSON — An Alexandria woman, found unconscious in a passenger seat of a vehicle at Taco Bell, told officers she used heroin before they found her and was in possession of counterfeit money.

Melisa A. East, 38, remains in the Madison County Jail on charges of Level 6 felony possession of a narcotic drug, Level 6 felony unlawful possession or use of a legend drug, Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a syringe, Level 6 felony counterfeiting and Class C misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Her initial hearing was Tuesday.

Christopher Burton, with the Anderson Police Department, said in an affidavit of probable cause that he observed two unconscious people in a black car at the Taco Bell when he arrived to assist with a traffic stop on the vehicle Aug. 31.

Officers said they were investigating a report that the vehicle located at the fast food restaurant was stolen, according to the affidavit.

Burton said he approached the vehicle on the passenger side where East was sitting unconscious and “observed an uncapped syringe laying in her lap.”

Another officer woke and removed the unconscious driver, but East was unable to open the passenger door and had to crawl over to the driver’s seat to exit the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Burton said when East was getting out of the car, he saw several small plastic bags containing white powder that she was sitting on in the front passenger’s seat.

When questioned, East told police she had just consumed heroin with the syringe in her lap and the small plastic bags contained the heroin, according to the affidavit. She also said she knew money found inside the vehicle was counterfeit, but she was unwilling to talk about the money.

Officers located a silver spoon with burnt residue, 16 counterfeit bills in a white envelope, syringes and a plastic bag containing pills that were later identified as the pain killer Trazodone, according to the affidavit. East also told officers she did not have a prescription for the painkiller.

Follow Traci L. Miller @_TraciMiller on Twitter, email her at, or call her at 765-640-4805.

Staff writer

An ink slinging wordsmith with The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Indiana. Writing about news that is changing people's lives. Have a news tip? Send it to or call me at 765-640-4805.

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