Warrant provides details of Rose McGowan drug arrest

LEESBURG, Va. — Cocaine was found inside Rose McGowan’s wallet that the actress left behind on a United flight to Dulles International Airport in January, according to a Loudoun County arrest warrant.

McGowan told The New Yorker she will plead not guilty to the felony drug possession charge.

In an arrest warrant filed by Detective J.C. Hughes of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, McGowan dropped her wallet next to her seat — 6L — after her United Airlines flight 653 from Los Angeles on Jan. 20.

This image released Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office shows the booking photo for actress Rose McGowan. (Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office)

A member of the aircraft cleaning crew found the wallet, which had two small plastic bags containing white powder.

According to police, the white powder tested positive for cocaine.

Also in the wallet was McGowan’s California driver’s license, a medical marijuana card, credit card, and a car insurance card.

On Feb. 1, Hughes filed the arrest warrant for McGowan.

“Ms. McGowan was aware that there was an outstanding warrant for her,” said Heather Williamson, spokeswoman for Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman.

McGowan turned herself in, was arrested on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance, was booked, and released on $5,000 unsecured bond at the Loudoun County Magistrate’s office Tuesday.

McGowan is due in Loudoun County District Court Thursday morning for an arraignment.

In an interview with The New Yorker, McGowan said she had flown into Dulles to attend the Woman’s March in D.C.

McGowan, a leading Hollywood voice against sexual harassment, had recently accused producer Harvey Weinstein of assaulting her. He has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

McGowan and her attorney, Jim Hundley, of Fairfax, argue the drugs could have been planted, because of the span of time — up to 11 hours — in which people other than McGowan had access to her wallet.

“I will clearly plead not guilty,” McGowan told reporter Ronan Farrow.

According to The New Yorker, Hundley wrote a letter to Plowman, asking that the charge be dropped. Williamson, Plowman’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to a WTOP question about the letter.

WTOP has requested comment from McGowan’s attorney.

In The New Yorker interview, McGowan said she believed she was being followed by a detective hired by Weinstein.

The day after the women’s march, McGowan said she received an Instagram message from a user she did not know.

“You left your wallet on your Saturday flight with your 2 bags of coke,” the message said. The user account was deactivated shortly after the message, but McGowan reportedly kept screenshots of the message.

McGowan said her fear and doubt caused her to hesitate to respond for months.

“I was going to ASAP,” she said.

In October, as the New York Post readied a story about the Loudoun County warrant, McGowan broke the news herself, on Twitter.

“Are they trying to silence me? There is a warrant out for my arrest in Virginia. What a load of horse (expletive),” she tweeted on Oct. 30, without stating who “they” refers to.

Tuesday evening, McGowan’s tweet didn’t specifically mention her Loudoun County experience.

McGowan is among several actresses who have said movie mogul Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a general assignment reporter with WTOP since 1997. He says he looks forward to coming to work every day, even though that means waking up at 3:30 a.m.

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