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A woman was found passed out in a truck with her child sleeping in the backseat after she used heroin. Now she is facing felony charges.

Samantha Cihler, 29, of Racine, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with possession of narcotic drugs (second offense), possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of bail jumping. If convicted of all charges, Cihler faces up to nine years one month in prison and/or fines up to $30,500.

According to the criminal complaint, officers with the Mount Pleasant Police Department were called to a report of a welfare check. Someone had reported that a man was found slumped over the wheel of a red truck that was still running. But when police arrived, they found that Cihler and a man were in the front seat sleeping. A child was also found asleep in the backseat.

Cihler told police that she and her husband were on the way home from Milwaukee so they pulled into the KwikTrip gas station to sleep. The officer observed several items that seemed consistent with drug use and he asked Cihler to get out of the car. When she did, a small corner of a clear plastic bag was on the seat. The officer knew that this was consistent packaging with street-level drugs. He also noticed a blue elastic band, which could be used as a tourniquet.

Officers arrested Cihler and the male passenger. While searching Cihler, police found two uncapped needles in her pocket and a folded piece of paper containing heroin.

During an interview with police, Cihler told them she had used heroin in the car before she left Milwaukee and driving the car.

Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set a $300 cash bond for Cihler, who is currently in custody at the Racine County Jail. A preliminary hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. May 29 at the Racine County Courthouse.


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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.