SANTA ROSA - A counterfeit credit card ring suspect was arrested this morning on suspicion of child endangerment after she allegedly left her 3-year-old daughter alone in her locked car while she was arraigned in court, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said.
Jhona Matthews, 33, of Walnut Creek was among five San Francisco and East Bay residents who were arrested Saturday for allegedly making counterfeit credit cards in a Rohnert Park hotel room and using them at the nearby Graton Resort and Casino.
At her arraignment this morning in Sonoma County Superior Court, her bail was raised to $50,000 and she was taken into custody, sheriff's Sgt. Mike Raasch said.
When Matthews told the judge she left her 3-year-old daughter unattended in her locked car, sheriff's deputies found the vehicle on the south side of the courthouse, Raasch said.
They woke up the child, who was sleeping in the back seat, and persuaded her to unlock the car door, Raasch said. Deputies then found three capped hypodermic needles containing suspected methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and a notebook with numerous credit card numbers, Raasch said.
Matthews was booked in the county jail for felony child endangerment, possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and a probation violation, Raasch said. She is now being held under no bail in the jail.
Matthews' daughter was turned over to Child Protective Services.
Sheriff's detectives learned Matthews was on misdemeanor probation in Marin County for credit card fraud, Raasch said.
She and four other alleged counterfeit credit card ring suspects were arrested last week on forgery, theft, burglary, and drug charges.