Westminster woman charged with intent to distribute after police allegedly find narcotics in her purse, rectum

Mary Ann Palya (Courtesy of Carroll County Sheriff's Office)
Mary Ann Palya (Courtesy of Carroll County Sheriff's Office)(Carroll County Sheriffs Office / HANDOUT)

A Westminster woman faces 15 drug-related charges, including four counts of intent to distribute, after police and detention center staff allegedly found narcotics inside her purse and rectum.

Mary Ann Palya, 35, of the 100 block of Charles Street, was charged Aug. 12 and released on $3,000 bail, online court records show.


According to the application for the statement of charges, a deputy of the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office saw a green pickup truck run a stop sign at Bishop and East Green streets in Westminster on Aug. 6 at approximately 9:15 a.m. and stopped the vehicle.

The officer learned the driver of the vehicle and the passenger, Palya, had been previously arrested for drug charges, and during the traffic stop Palya was avoiding eye contact and looking through her purse, according to the statement. The officer contacted another deputy and K-9 to scan the vehicle, the statement reads. The K-9 alerted police to the presence of narcotics, but Palya and the driver said there were none, according to the statement.

While one officer searched for drugs in the truck, Palya rummaged through her purse for a lighter and the other officer noticed a syringe plunger in the purse, the statement reads.

Police found inside the purse: Alprazolam pills, Xanax pills, suspected crack cocaine, one pill cutter, one straw with white residue, and one syringe plunger, according to the statement. The driver was free to go, while Palya was arrested, the statement reads.

While the police officer helped Palya out of the patrol vehicle at Carroll County Central Booking he saw a pile of Xanax pills in the car and noticed white residue around Palya’s lips and inside her mouth. Palya said she found her pill bottle on the seat of the vehicle when she got inside and took two pills, according to the statement. The officer found the bottle, which contained 38 Xanax pills and 28 partial pills, wedged between the seat bottom and back, according to the statement.

During a search of Palya’s person at the detention center, staff found suspected narcotics inside her rectum, including a small container with suspected heroin, a container and baggie with suspected crack residue, and a baggie with suspicious residue, according to the statement.

Palya could not be reached by phone. The Carroll County Public Defender’s Office was not immediately available for comment. A court date was scheduled for Sept. 11.