Mere hours after her release from Erath County Jail Monday, a local woman was once again arrested on drug charges and placed back behind bars.

Jessica Batteas, 25, was arrested less than five hours after being released from jail following a previous drug charge. But it didn’t take long for her to fall back into her old habits. By Monday evening, an officer with the Stephenville Police Department arrested Batteas again after she was caught with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia during a routine traffic stop.

After spotting a reckless driver traveling too fast on the icy roads, Officer Curtis Dees stopped a vehicle driven by Timothy Charles Johnston, 43, Chief Roy Halsell said.

Johnston was taken into custody after the officer realized he was driving with a suspended license. A search of the vehicle turned up a set of brass knuckles, a meth pipe, and an estimated three grams of methamphetamine.

“The drugs were in plain view,” Halsell said. “The drugs were in a baggy stuffed inside a cigarette box that was sitting on the front console.”

The search also turned up items law enforcement officials believe were stolen and could link Johnston to a recent burglary of a business.

Batteas, who was a passenger in the car, admitted to the officer that she had smoked meth soon after she was released from jail, Halsell said.

Johnston was charged with possession of a controlled substance in penalty group 1, $10,000 bond; burglary of a building, $5,000 bond; possession of a prohibited weapon, $1,500 bond; and driving with a suspended license.

Batteas was charged with possession of a controlled substance in penalty group 1. Her bond has been set at $20,000.

The investigation regarding the stolen items remains ongoing.

Sara Vanden Berge covers courts, law enforcement, and business and political issues for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at Her work number is 968-2379, ext. 240.