ERWIN — Two Unicoi County people were arrested Wednesday on methamphetamine-related charges after officials allegedly found precursors in their vehicle following a traffic stop.
Stacy G. Black, 41, 420 Walnut St., Erwin, was charged with initiating the process of methamphetamine manufacture. Brittany Nicole Conley, 23, 505 Lindsey Road, Unicoi, was charged with promotion of the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley said he received information Wednesday night that Black, who had been arrested recently on meth-related charges, was again manufacturing methamphetamine.
“We were able to look at some information and found that he had received precursors to make methamphetamine,” Hensley said.
Black, who was residing at a motel in Unicoi County, was stopped by Hensley and Erwin Police Department Detective Tony Buchanan because officials had probable cause to believe he was in possession of methamphetamine, Hensley said.
Hensley said as he approached the vehicle, which was stopped on Mill Creek Road in Erwin, Conley, the vehicle’s driver, told him ingredients used in the manufacture of methamphetamine as well as a lab were in the vehicle. Hensley said Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Frank Rogers arrived on the scene and opened the vehicle’s trunk. There, officials observed items used in the methamphetamine manufacture process, Hensley said.
As officials attempted to take Black into custody, UCSD Administrative Assistant Craig Masters observed a pistol in Black’s possession, Hensley said. Masters grabbed the gun and took it out of Black’s belt, Hensley said. This pistol was then found to be a BB gun, according to the sheriff.
Erwin Police Chief Regan Tilson also assisted at the scene, and the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force truck was called out. Hensley said further investigation revealed that a methamphetamine lab had been disposed of in the dumpster of an area motel. Tilson and his officers were able to locate this lab and methamphetamine precursors were found in the motel room where Black was staying after a search was conducted, Hensley said.
Black and Conley were arraigned Friday in Unicoi County Sessions Court. A $30,000 corporate bond was set for Conley, and a $75,000 corporate bond was set for Black. Both are scheduled to appear back in Sessions Court on Thursday.
Wednesday’s arrests mark the fifth methamphetamine investigation by area officials that have resulted in charges since Hensley took office in late March. He said combating narcotics in Unicoi County was a priority when he took office and said his department will continue to attack drugs “vigorously.”
“We’re going to continue to work on the methamphetamine problem,” Hensley said. “It’s one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs out there. Our efforts continuing to work closely with the Erwin Police Department are paying off.”
Hensley said those with information on methamphetamine and other drugs may anonymously report these activities to the sheriff’s department’s tips line at 743-1855.