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Bristol Palin's Boyfriend's Mom Arrested in Alaska

Sherry Johnston outside her Wasilla home in September. (Al Grillo/AP)

Bristol Palin's mother-in-law-to-be was arrested yesterday at her home in Wasilla on felony drug charges.

Sherry Johnston, 42, was charged with six counts of misconduct involving a controlled substance -- though state troopers did not specify what kind. Her arrest was first reported by the Anchorage Daily News.

Horrible timing -- Johnston is the mother of Levi Johnston, 18, longtime boyfriend of Sarah Palin's pregnant daughter, whose due date is reportedly tomorrow. The family has said the couple plans to marry next year.

The Anchorage paper reported that Johnston was arrested at the "conclusion of an undercover narcotics investigation," citing a statement from state troopers. Charges included 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 from jail on $5,000 bond a couple hours later.

No comment from the Alaska guv's office. "This is not a state government matter.," a Palin rep told the paper. "Therefore the governor's communications staff will not be providing comment or scheduling interview opportunities."

Levi and Bristol at the Republican convention in September. (Paul Sancya/AP)

Levi Johnston told the Associated Press in October that he dropped out of high school to work as an apprentice electrician on the North Slope oil fields, and that he plans to marry the governor's 18-year-old daughter next summer: "We were planning on getting married a long time ago with or without the kid. . . . We both love each other. We both want to marry each other. "

By The Reliable Source  |  December 19, 2008; 1:30 PM ET
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This is NOT news.

Posted by: _virginian_ | December 19, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

One member of a trashy-acting family marries another member of a trashy-acting family. I think America dodged a .50 cal round by electing the better candidates: Obama/Biden.

I wonder what the evangelical right supporters of McCain/Palin have to say about this episode? I guarantee had this been family members of the Obamas, Rush Limpbaugh and other right-wingnuts would be all over the story like athlete's foot.

Posted by: meldupree | December 19, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

I remember a few months ago when the stories about Levi being involved with drugs came out and everyone said it was tabloid trash. Now that we know his mother has been arrested for drug dealing I'm sure the original stories about Levi were probably true.

Posted by: buffysummers | December 19, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

An 18 year old son marrying his pregnant girlfriend, not having election day turn out right, and having 23 hours of darkness would all be excuses for smoking a little weed, endulging in a little coke, or crushing up some hydracodone into your vodka.

Posted by: tomcanick | December 19, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I think the Justice Dept. needs to look into this and produce a finding to see whether Gov. Palin had any contact with this family and how deep that involvement is. Did she benefit from it via campaign donations or did she turn a blind eye towards it.


Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | December 19, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like material for Jerry Springer to me!

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | December 19, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | December 19, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Sad and dreary--elevated to news only because Sarah Palin managed to bamboozle her way into the public eye. How lucky the whole nation is not to have to be embarrassed by the antics of these people at a time of genuine national emergency.

What a spectacle: Levi Johnston dropping out of high school and being banished to a job on the Alaskan North Slope, no doubt to keep the kid out of trouble; his teen girlfriend hustled into a shotgun wedding long before either of them are ready for the responsibilities of adulthood; now Levi's mother being arrested for long-term drug-dealing. Where was Supermom Sarah when all this tawdry stuff was going on under her wiggly gubernatorial nose? Ah yes, she was also busy praying at the Wassila Pentacostal holiness temple for God to smite all those wicked sinners down in the Lower 48.

Sarah, please do the whole country--and your family, too--a great big favor. Stay home and bake some cookies. I hope that we never have to hear about these people again, because everything that dribbles out is pretty likely to be tawdry.

Posted by: jm917 | December 19, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Marrage... wedding... the odds makers in LV give it 100 to 1.

Posted by: whocares666 | December 19, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Virginian wrote that "This is NOT news.

I can't figure out if he means that it isn't newsworthy or if this is so expected that it isn't news.

I thought it was Sarah's son in Iraq who was supposed to be the druggie, not her future [right!] son-in-law.

I just don't understand what's taking so long with the wedding.

Posted by: Skeptic21 | December 19, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

My money's on meth.

And that wedding will NEVER happen.

Posted by: gbooksdc | December 19, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DingDong69 | December 19, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if this had been the mother of a Dem candidate's future son-in-law (well, perhaps son-in-law, though it's not clear why they are waiting so long after the baby's birth to get hitched). It probably has. I can see Fox News giving it lots of coverage. But, more importantly, the prospects for a happy future for Palin's daughter and her perhaps-fiancee, and especially for their child, are statistically pretty slim. Those who said all is okay as long as the two got married are deluding themselves. High school dropouts with a kid? They could make it but it will be tough. Many still oppose sex education and there are still many who oppose birth control.

Posted by: Sutter | December 19, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"We both love each other. We both want to marry each other."

Hah! That won't last long.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | December 19, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I always wondered where they'd park the trailer at the White House if McCain/Palin won.

Posted by: trace1 | December 19, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm imagining Palin assuming the presidency one day with an in law like this woman. Dealing crack in the White House. Oh well, most Republicans I've heard about in the press have been criminally inclined Bushies. What's a few drugs in the Oval Office in a Palin Administration. We're used to worse after 8 years of King Decider George, I guess.

Posted by: buzziea | December 19, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm Caucasian, but I am really tired of the double-standard in this country. If Barack Obama's wife had been arrested for stealing drugs from a medical charity (Cindy McCain), if he had cheated on his wife with a billionairess (John McCain), if their teen age daughter was pregnant and unmarried (Bristol Palin), if the boyfriend's mother was involved with illegal drugs, there would be NO political career for Obama. Period.

Posted by: trace1 | December 19, 2008 4:21 PM | Report abuse

White Trash. What else is there to say

Posted by: K2007 | December 19, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Thank goodness those metho heads did not get in the WH

Posted by: K2007 | December 19, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

How exactly is this not big news? I agree with the previous posters -- if this had been one of Obama's relatives, we'd have a front-page story on WaPo. Then again, Obama is the president-elect, not a failed VP candidate, so there IS a substantial difference.

But let's remember -- Palin is a hard-right conservative with wide name recognition and serious political ambitions. She has survived, so far, in a landscape where the Republicans desperately need strong candidates to win future elections. So I think the Johnston affair is perfectly newsworthy. It certainly sheds more light on the deep hypocrisy that envelops Gov. Palin. Family values? Real Americans? The Lower 48 should be more like Main Street Wasilla? Riiight!!! Could we have a little more NEWS on this development, please?

Posted by: SeattleVoter | December 19, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

trace1 has nailed this story cold. Hey - maybe Levi's mama was one of Rush's suppliers?!?

Posted by: isthisajoke | December 19, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Is white trash spelled with capital letters? Or in this case does it make a difference.

It would have made for one heck of a White House family portrait! I just can't wait for 2012.

Posted by: whidbey96 | December 19, 2008 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Are we sure this isn't the nature of self reliance and the entrepreneurial spirit in Alaska? Maybe she wasn't capable enough for a high paying job on the North Slope.

Posted by: ThomasFiore | December 19, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Obama and despise Sarah Palin, and I can't believe some of the insipid comments I'm seeing here.

"I'm imagining Palin assuming the presidency one day with an in law like this woman. Dealing crack in the White House.
Posted by: buzziea"
How did you react when neocons said that Obama would invite terrorists to dinner in reaction to his very loose and meaningless links to Ayers and Khalidi?
It was pretty ridiculous, wasn't it?
Well, so is your comment.

"How exactly is this not big news? I agree with the previous posters -- if this had been one of Obama's relatives, we'd have a front-page story on WaPo.
Posted by: SeattleVoter"
Maybe it's because the "liberal" media and the Democrats don't stoop to such underhanded, rumor-fueled gossiping like FOX News and the GOP.
Or maybe it's because the election is over.

I am amazed when people get P.O.'d when their ideas/candidate/party are attacked by fabricated hype, but then turn around and do exactly that to the other side when they get the chance.

I didn't see a meaningful connection between Ayers and Obama, and I don't see a meaningful connection between Johnson's arrest and Palin.
Give the woman a break, just because her daughter's fiance's mother is busted for drugs has no bearing at all on Sarah Palin.

You people are just itching for scandal, aren't you? Don't have enough to do today? Perhaps you should devote some of the time you spend worrying about such trivial issues on something useful, like trimming your toenails.

Posted by: JMGinPDX | December 19, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

With folks like the Palins and the Levis of boggles the mind to know that Nascar attendance is in decline...
And while it was NEVER close (the old BabyBurner never had a chance against President Elect Obama) it is just creepy that the VP would have come from this warren of stupidy if the election had been stolen again...

Posted by: kase | December 19, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

How close was this wedding coming to being held in the Rose Garden? Not close.

Posted by: hpclub | December 19, 2008 6:32 PM | Report abuse

This family has the makings of a good reality show!

Posted by: darling1 | December 19, 2008 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Pathetic. And very trashy. This whole drama is right out of a Jerry Springer script. Maybe he should invite the entire Palin clan to his show.

Hang in there, my Republican friends. After all, Sarah can see Alaska from her house. I'm sure the rest of the extended family can, as well.

Posted by: loulor | December 19, 2008 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I mean Russia.

Posted by: loulor | December 19, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

ADN says it is Oxycontin. Wow! Palin is palling around with heroin addicts! Wait! maybe thats why Rush Limpbaugh was so excited with Sarah Palin...maybe Sherry is his new dealer! Heh, heh, heh....

Posted by: sandnsmith | December 19, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that a woman from Wassilla
has been charged with posession of hillbilly heroin. Now, if it had been meth, I wouldn't be a bit surprised. After all, Wassilla is the Meth Capitol of Alaska.

And yeah, suck it up, Palin defenders. These are the people you wanted in the White House.

Posted by: chappell1 | December 19, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

This shouldn't be funny -- but good grief. You think they'll wait to get married after Levi's mom gets out of jail? Or, maybe not at all. Pitiful.

Posted by: peck3 | December 19, 2008 10:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm still confused as to how marrying 9 months after the child is born is consistent with their fundamental Christian values. Granted, they should have been married before they even conceived the child, but has "bastard" lost all meaning, even to the Christian right? Should anything happen to young Levi during the interim, the poor wee lad will be without any legal protection, such as social security survivor rights.

Posted by: SolontheGreat | December 19, 2008 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Given Sarah Palin's predilection for farming her own kids out to relatives, I sure hope Levi's junkie mom won't be allowed to babysit his and Bristol's imminent baby.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | December 20, 2008 12:05 AM | Report abuse

SolontheGreat, you're right. Just look at the mess the late Heath Ledger's daughter faces because of his failure to put his financial affairs in order.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | December 20, 2008 12:07 AM | Report abuse

It APPEARS that alot of your commenters were so judgmental, that it escaped them that 'Matthew 7:1 of the bible, applies to everybody, not just those in the limelight. (Judge not that ye not be judged.) I often wonder what they'd (the commenters) think, if it were them on the butchers block. Where's the compassion? Bristol and Levi are nice american kids. They are everything our country has allowed them to become. We, as a nation have let go of so many principles, that it's difficult to determine where one begins and ends. Credit or blame, he's doing what he chooses to do for the welfare of his family. Isn't that what this country is founded on. Not everybody has a silver spoon, but if someone would like to throw those kids a life jacket, throw a bunch, coz they're not the only ones in this predicament. Don't just judge them, help them.

Posted by: puinsai652002 | December 20, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

We think 2008 ended so badly that rather than spend the time reviewing it, we all ought to look forward to what's ahead. Here is, hands down, the most interesting horoscope predictions for 2009. Enjoy.


Posted by: saturdaymorningpost | December 24, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

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