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Oskaloosa woman arrested after driving into cornfield

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 11:14 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014 11:16 a.m. CST

An Oskaloosa woman who drove herself into a cornfield north of Monroe Thursday, Feb. 6, was arrested and charged with driving while barred and numerous drug-related violations.

Traci Lynn Braden, 44, was arrested and charged with OWI, possession of a Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while barred as a habitual offender. Following an initial appearance with Jasper County Magistrate Jonathan Noble, she was released Monday on $1,000 bond.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, Braden called 911 to report she was “lost in a cornfield and ran out of gas.” Deputy Tony Ong responded to the field adjacent to the 11000 block of Iowa Highway 14 South, and noticed the driver’s appearance.

“I observed her watery eyes, jerky body language and her sunk-in facial structure,” he said. “Based on my training and experience, [Braden] appeared to be under the influence of illegal drugs.”

Ong said Braden admitted to using marijuana that day and methamphetamine the day before. During a routine search of her person, he reported finding a bag of marijuana concealed under her clothing and a plastic container filled with marijuana inside her purse.

Ong said two pipes alleged to have been used for smoking marijuana were also found on her person.

“Two marijuana smoking pipes were found on the defendant’s person, as well,” he said. “The smoking pipe had an odor of burnt marijuana and residue of burnt marijuana inside of them.”

Ong said Braden consented to three field sobriety tests, each of which indicated impairment. A field breath test did not indicate alcohol use. Braden was then read an implied consent advisory and was asked to provide a urine sample, but she allegedly refused to provide one.

Braden’s information was checked through national and Iowa driving databases, and it was discovered she was barred as a driver for a period of two years beginning Sept. 2, 2013. The criminal complaint alleges she admitted to knowing she was a barred driver.

During a routine search of her vehicle before towing, five pills later discovered to be Clonazepam were discovered. The drug, a Schedule IV narcotic, is used to treat seizures, panic disorder and anxiety.

According to the criminal complaint, Braden is alleged to have told officers she didn’t have a proper prescription for the drug.

A review of online court records indicates Braden has an extensive criminal history, including 2008 convictions in Keokuk, Mahaska and Poweshiek counties for second-degree theft and third-degree burglary. She also has a number of probation violations, which resulted in a brief prison sentence.

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