Politics & Government

Palin soap opera: Drug in Levi's mom's case is oxycontin

WASILLA, Alaska — Wasilla resident Sherry L. Johnston, mother of Bristol Palin's boyfriend, faces a Jan. 6 court date for an oxycontin-related arrest at her home by Alaska State Troopers.

Little additional information was available Friday on the case as authorities remained unusually tight-lipped about details. But Palmer court records listed Johnston's scheduled court date and a troopers spokeswoman said in a release late Friday afternoon that the charges "are in relation to the drug oxycontin."

Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston, who Gov. Sarah Palin said was the father of Bristol Palin's unborn child. Levi Johnston joined the Palins at the Republican National Convention when Palin was running for vice president. It was during the convention that the governor and her husband, Todd, announced Bristol's pregnancy.

She was arrested around noon Thursday by troopers serving a search warrant in an undercover drug investigation. A standard press release issued by troopers said Johnston was arrested on six felony counts: second-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance - generally manufacturing or delivering drugs - as well as fourth-degree misconduct involving controlled substances, or possession.

She was released on bail Thursday afternoon, just a few hours later.

Johnston has not responded to phone messages or requests for comment left at the family home. Nobody answered the door there Friday.

Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters wouldn't say Friday if there were other potential defendants.

Normally, troopers file charging documents in court to back up arrests. Clerks at the Palmer courthouse said they hadn't seen any filings, and none has to be filed until the hearing.

The Palmer District Attorney's office prosecutes drug cases. Palmer District Attorney Roman Kalytiak said he was aware of the arrest, but also had not seen any reports or charging documents.

Kalytiak said the standard protocol for drug arrests is that law enforcement officials observe one drug buy, then get a warrant that permits them to record conversations and document more buys.

"I'd imagine standard protocol was followed," the district attorney said.

A spokesman for Gov. Palin on Thursday said the arrest was "not a state government matter" and so no comment or interviews on the topic would be forthcoming.

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