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Public Notices

April 24, 2014

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Drug Bust Is Largest-Ever In Cocke County

Originally published: 2012-09-03 11:14:34
Last modified: 2012-09-03 11:16:45
 


BY NELSON MORAIS

NEWPORT PLAIN TALK

NEWPORT -- The Cocke County Sheriff's Department concluded a five-month investigation of illegal prescription pill-dealing in Cocke County over the weekend by rounding up 23 suspected drug dealers in "Operation Iron Fist."

It was the biggest single drug bust headed up by the Sheriff's Department in its history, Sheriff Armando Fontes said.

"We had 33 presentments," all drug-related, the sheriff said. Ten of those suspects have been arrested in the past two months; then 23 were picked up on Friday.

An additional eight people who had been indicted by the court system, though not suspects in the undercover operation, were also arrested, almost all on non-drug related charges, the sheriff said.

Nearly 35 officers from the Sheriff's Department and other law enforcement agencies recruited for Friday's massive roundup of drug dealers participated in "Operation Iron Fist."

HOW IT WAS DONE

Officers in cruisers and SUVs fanned out into Cocke County, then returned with suspected drug dealers they had arrested.

The vehicles pulled up in front of the Cocke County Annex, and officers led the handcuffed suspects into Chancery Court, where a temporary booking center had been set up to handle the high volume of arrested people.

From there, the arrested suspects were walked to the Cocke County Jail Annex, located next to the courtroom.

The Friday roundup began about 6 a.m., and ended at approximately 4 p.m.

CHILDREN, ANIMALS FOUND

At about 9 a.m., Sheriff Fontes returned with other officers from rounding up suspects from three different residences, which he described as "uninhabitable," full of filth and bad odors.

"In one house, we removed seven dogs. Lisa Layman with the Animal Shelter assisted us. We can't thank them [the Animal Shelter staff] enough for their assistance," the sheriff said.

In two of the residences, the sheriff said, officers found children living with suspects who were selling narcotics in front of them.

"We made some DCS (Department of Children's Services) referrals in those cases," Fontes said.

PROBLEM 'JUST RAMPANT'

"The problem of prescription abuse is just rampant in our community," the sheriff said.

The sheriff asked for patience from the community in the department's efforts to put drug dealers behind bars. "There are times we can't [act] right away [after receiving a tip], because these people have rights, too."

A number of law enforcement agencies assisted, including: the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF), the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the U.S. Marshal's Service, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), and the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP).

THOSE ARRESTED

Thirty-one people were arrested; eight who were arrested were served indictments that were not part of the undercover operation.

Sheriff Fontes said "a few more" indictments will be served in the near future because the suspects weren't located, and "a couple" of indictments are for people currently in jail in another county.

The sheriff said the following charges are not complete, and that some of those who were arrested received additional charges, or will be charged in the near future.

Those arrested on drug-related charges on Friday were:

* Gary Eugene Teague, 44, 1443 River Chase Trail, Newport, sale and delivery of Schedule 4 controlled substance, and sale and delivery of counterfeit controlled substance;

* Gary David Ball, 25, 494 Jimtown Road, Newport, sale and delivery of counterfeit controlled substance, and sale and delivery of Oxycodone (four cases);

* Jimmy Don Jones, 55, 540 6th St., in Newport, sale and delivery .5 grams of cocaine (three cases);

* Rodney Leon Hance, 47, 109B Filbert St., Newport, sale and delivery of marijuana in excess of .5 ounce;

* Gavin Robinson, 21, Jasmine Drive, Newport, casual exchange (four cases);

* Terry Kirkpatrick, 33, 109 Filbert St., Newport, sale and delivery of Oxycodone;

* Justin Dewayne Sifontes, 20, 199 Buckner Hollow Road, Newport, sale and delivery in excess .5 ounce of marijuana;

* Ray Hughes, 51, 939 Alder Road, Bybee, sale and delivery of marijuana in excess of .5 ounce;

* Doyle J. Waldroup, 66, 610 River Road, Newport, sale and delivery of counterfeit controlled substance, sale and delivery Schedule 2 controlled substance;

* Nicholas Davis, 26, 353 Moore Hollow Road, Newport, sale and delivery of cocaine less than .5 grams, sale and delivery more than .5 grams of cocaine;

* Marcella Grooms, 42, 750 Princeton Lane, Newport, sale and delivery of Clonazepam, sale and delivery of counterfeit controlled substance (two cases);

* Ella Mae Gregg, 62, 750 Princeton Lane, Newport, sale and delivery of counterfeit controlled substance, sale and delivery of Oxycodone (three cases);

* Jonathan Edward Thornton, 30, 116 Willowbrook Road, Newport, sale and delivery of cocaine less than .5 grams, sale and delivery more than .5 grams of cocaine (three cases);

* Frank Leonard Young, 43, 1526 Goodwater Road, Bybee, sale and delivery of Oxycodone (two cases);

* Adam J. Colombe, 27, 490 N. Susong St., Newport, sale and delivery of Oxycodone, sale and delivery of counterfeit controlled substance (three cases);

* Robert Wayne Earls, 44, 2380 Old Highway 32, Newport, sale and delivery of Oxycodone (three cases);

* Billy Drew Massengill, 40, 508 Paintbrush Road, Newport, sale and delivery of cocaine less than .5 grams, sale and delivery of Oxymorphine (two cases);

* Travis William McCabe, 41, 122 Granite Way, Newport, sale and delivery of cocaine more than .5 grams;

* Lance Louis McCabe, 38, 122 Granite Way, Newport, sale and delivery of Oxymorphine, sale and delivery of morphine (four cases);

* Clyde Burgess, 71, 202 Surphur Springs Road, Newport, sale and delivery of Oxycodone;

* Jeannie Worth, 44, 2331 Bogard Road, Cosby, sale and delivery of Schedule 4 controlled substance (three cases);

* Cecil Bryant Jr., 40, 2331 Bogard Road, Cosby, sale and delivery of morphine, sale and delivery of Schedule 4 controlled substance (three cases); and

* Teresa Fleenor, 39, no address given, sale and delivery of hydrocodeinone.

The following eight people were also arrested, but on indictments that were not related to "Operation Iron Fist":

*Bart Webb, 44, 115 Washington Ave., Newport, theft of property;

*Angela Dawn Nunnery, 40, 2793 Cosby Hwy., Cosby, failure to appear;

*Scott Christopher Barton, 40, 523 N. Susong St., Newport, fleeing to evade;

* Jennifer Levesque, 38, 411 W. Broadway, Newport, violation of probation, possession of drug paraphernalia;

* John Bogle, 37, 1274 Sunset Gap Road, Cosby, violation of probation;

* Joey Arrowood, 43, 588 Bonanza Drive, Newport, violation of probation;

* Jessica Haney, 30, 116 Willowbrook Road, Newport, violation of probation;

* Jaron Ray Shetley, 25, 431 Highway 411, Newport, violation of probation.

 
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