Pennsylvania Woman Tells Troopers She Spent Stimulus Check on Drugs for Her Girlfriend

A woman in Pennsylvania told state troopers during a traffic stop that she spent her government stimulus check on drugs for her girlfriend.

Madison Marie Beeghley was pulled over at a Sunoco gas station in Rostraver after she was seen speeding and driving erratically along Route 51 North at around 1 a.m. on Tuesday, Trooper Robert Broadwater told Newsweek.

Broadwater said her blue Toyota had been tailgating a patrol vehicle and troopers let her pass by. Troopers then followed the 20-year-old's vehicle traveling at a high speed.

"She was weaving in and out of lanes and pretty much doing things she shouldn't have been doing," he said.

When Beeghley lowered her window during the stop, troopers caught the "strong odor" of marijuana coming from the vehicle and Beeghley also showed signs of being impaired.

Pennsylvania State Police
Stock photo. Pennsylvania state troopers said a 20-year-old said she had spent her government stimulus check on drugs after a traffic stop. Getty

Broadwater said when troopers searched the vehicle, Beeghley asked them if she could be excused and claimed she was going to walk home. "She said, 'I'm jus going to walk home, I'm done.'"

The troopers informed her that she couldn't leave and put her in the back of their patrol vehicle, which made her "combative," according to Broadwater.

"They put her in the back of the patrol vehicle where she began just flailing her body all over the place and kicking the interior," he said.

The troopers found "a large amount" of marijuana—around 17g—and 70 Xanax pills in Beeghley's car, he said.

When questioned about the drugs, Beeghley told the troopers that she had used the majority of the stimulus check she received from the government to buy them, Broadwater said.

"She said she purchased them for her girlfriend, had wanted to spoil her. She said she spent her stimulus check that the government gave her on these drugs," he said.

The checks, for up to $1,200, were issued to eligible tax and non-tax payers as part of a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package.

Beeghley, of Dunbar, was taken into custody and is facing multiple felony charges, including driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to deliver.

Her arrest came while Pennsylvania is under a statewide stay-at-home order, in effect until at least May 8.

The order, put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus in the state, mandates that all residents must stay home and refrain from nonessential travel, venturing out for certain essential activities and to go to work.

The state has more than 43,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and 1,716 deaths, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

This infographic, provided by Statista, shows the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. as of April 29.

Coronavirus COVID-19 United States Statista
Spread of COVID-19 across the U.S. Statista

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

This article has been updated with information from Pennsylvania State Police.