By Joe Johnson
A Madison County woman was booked into the Clarke County Jail on drug charges twice this week, once under her twin sister’s identity and a second time under her own.
Helen Virgina Allen, 35, of Briarwood Lane in Hull was arrested Monday night after a car in which she was a passenger was stopped on Atlanta Highway by an Athens-Clarke County police officer because the vehicle did not have a license plate displayed, according to a police report.
Police said they searched the car because the officer smelled the odor of marijuana smoke coming from the vehicle. On the passenger side where Allen was sitting, an officer found a fabric case that contained multiple needles, a spoon and scale with residue on them, and plastic bags containing substances which tested positive for crystal meth and heroin, according to the report. Multiple small plastic bags commonly used to package drugs for resale were also found, the report noted.
Allen reportedly told officers that the drugs and paraphernalia belonged to her twin sister, Molly Allen of Athens.
Allen was arrested and booked into jail under her sister’s identity on charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute heroin, and possession of drug-related objects
On Tuesday morning, the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the National Crime Information Center crime data clearinghouse that Helen Allen’s fingerprints had been rejected because the system recognized the prints as belonging to another individual, Chief Deputy Jimps Cole said.
After resubmitting the woman’s fingerprints to the NCIC, the sheriff’s office was informed that the prints belonged to Helen, not Molly Allen. according to Cole.
Both sisters have criminal histories from drug-related convictions, according to Clarke County Superior Court records.
“At about the same time that the last fingerprint submission was received, we get a call from the ACCPD advising that they may have arrested the wrong person,” Cole said. “It turns out that they arrested the right person, but the right person was misidentifying herself as her twin.”
After getting the identity issue resolved by Wednesday, jail personnel had to list all charges against Molly Allen as being dismissed and they re-booked Helen Allen under her true identity and original charges, plus the added charge of giving false information to law enforcement.
Helen Allen was being detained without bail as of Saturday afternoon, according to the sheriff’s office.