standing Police Siren Generic

WESTERLY — A local woman is facing charges after police said she lied about her name to try and avoid being arrested on a warrant, leading police to discover her in possession of numerous pills, including several narcotics, without proper prescriptions.

Westerly police on Friday charged Chiara Vargas, 28, of 24 Winnapaug Road, Apt. 18, with three counts of possession of a controlled substance. She was also charged on two bench warrants from Rhode Island Superior Court, according to police records.

A police report indicated that Vargas was taken into custody around 3:10 p.m. after an officer stopped a car that she was a passenger in for speeding along Route 78. Police said the driver was compliant and is facing no criminal charges in the case.

Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the officer, who was familiar with Vargas, attempted to speak with her, but she sat in the passenger seat and refused to look at the officer. The officer asked for ID, which she claimed she did not have, and she provided a fake name when asked.

The officer ran her real name — she later admitted to knowing there were active warrants for her arrest — and found she was wanted for failure to appear on drug charges related to a 2017 case in Providence, as well as on a second warrant for failure to meet conditions of release in connection with a 2016 credit card fraud in Coventry.

In both cases, court records show she ceased communication with the courts in June 2018 and failed to appear for required hearings. When she did not respond to court officials, the warrants were issued, according to judicial records.

Lacey said upon learning of the warrants, the officer called for a police K-9. A search of the car led to a hit and police later found numerous pills in four prescription bottles, as well as a cellophane baggie containing a white powder.

Police seized three types of scheduled narcotics including 11 pills of Suboxone and 1 pill of buprenorphine hydrochloride, substances commonly used as painkillers or to treat narcotic dependence, as well as one pill of clonazepam, an anxiety medication.

According to police reports, officers also seized four additional medications, totaling 89 additional pills that did not fall under the state’s schedule of narcotics. Lacey said Vargas did not have a prescription for any of the medications found. Police also seized the powder substance, which was sent to state labs for further testing.

Vargas was arraigned in Fourth Division District Court Monday and released on a promise to appear, according to court records. She is due in Washington Superior Court for a felony screening on May 10.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com

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