HAWTHORNE ‒ Rachael Marie-Faye Clifford, 30, was arrested Friday, March 31, and charged with two counts of child abuse, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia after deputies reportedly found drugs in her diaper bag.

An Alachua County Sheriff’s (ASO) Deputy pulled Clifford over on Hawthorne Road for a window tint violation and issued a written warning. A four-year-old male and one-year-old female were reportedly unrestrained in the back seat of the vehicle. The deputy reported that when he asked Clifford to get out of the vehicle, she picked up a red diaper bag from the seat next to her and tried to bring it with her. The deputy wrote in his report that he had to tell her multiple times to put it back in the vehicle. She eventually put it in the back seat in front of one of the children.

An ASO K-9 alerted to narcotics in the vehicle and a search of the diaper bag reportedly produced 5.5 grams of a substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, about 1.5 grams of marijuana laced with MDPV (molly) and a charred glass pipe, along with diapers, children’s clothing and other baby items.

Post Miranda, Clifford reportedly said she uses methamphetamine, but she didn’t know that the marijuana contained molly. She said she does not smoke in front of her children.

Clifford was charged with child abuse without serious bodily harm for keeping narcotics in a bag with her children’s diapers and clothing, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Clifford served two concurrent state prison sentences between 2015 and 2018 for burglary and grand theft charges out of Gilchrist and Levy counties. Locally, adjudication of guilt was withheld on a 2013 charge of drug possession and she was fined after pleading to a charge of resisting arrest without violence in 2015 when ASO deputies arrested her for violation of her Levy County probation. At this time, her fine has not been paid. She was cited for driving without a valid license in September 2022 in Alachua County. That charge was just dropped on Wednesday, March 29.

Bail was set at $65,000 by Judge David P. Kreider and Clifford remains in the Alachua County Jail as of this writing. She is also not allowed unsupervised visits with her children.

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