ERWIN — Three people were arrested Thursday in two separate investigations carried out by the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department targeting the sale of Suboxone.
In the first of the investigations, April M. Eppler, 31, 1110 Empress Court, Gray, was arrested. Eppler was charged with sale of a schedule III drug, possession of a schedule III drug for resale, reckless child endangerment, violation of the implied consent law, driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license.
According to the arrest report, investigators with the sheriff’s department met with a confidential informant who had arranged to purchased Suboxone from Eppler. The informant was wired and provided with $110 with which to purchase the drug, according to the report.
The report states drug investigators with the sheriff’s department observed Eppler driving to the prearranged location to meet with the confidential informant. Once the informant arrived at the location, investigators monitored and recorded the transaction, according to the report.
Eppler sold the informant four Suboxone pills, according to the arrest report. After the transaction, investigators conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle driven by Eppler and moved in to arrest her, at which time they found her to be in possession of three additional Suboxone pills and one Suboxone strip, the report states.
The report states that Eppler was unsteady on her feet, had a “strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about her person,” and told officials that she had taken two Suboxone pills and a clonazepam pill prior to meeting with the informant. She also had her 3-year-old daughter in her vehicle, according to the report.
Eppler performed poorly on a field sobriety test and refused a blood alcohol test, according to the report. Officers also found that Eppler’s driver’s license had been suspended for failure to pay child support. She was arrested and transported to the Unicoi County Jail.
Eppler’s adult male passenger, Ronnie Lee Cloyd, 29, 261 Browning Road, Telford, was arrested and charged with public intoxication. According to the arrest report, officers also detected the odor of alcohol on Cloyd and he was unsteady on his feet. The report states investigators found an open bottle of Crown Royal in the vehicle.
Both Cloyd and Eppler appeared in Unicoi County Sessions Court Friday. Eppler requested attorney representation and a $25,000 corporate bond was set in her case. She is scheduled to again appear in Sessions Court on June 21. Cloyd pleaded guilty to the charge of public intoxication and was sentenced to 30 days unsupervised probation.
In an unrelated case, an Elizabethton man was arrested Thursday after police said he sold Suboxone to a confidential informant.
Jesse T. Timbs, 29, 114 Suess Road, Elizabethton, was charged with sale of a schedule III drug and possession of a schedule III drug for resale.
Again, sheriff’s department investigators monitored the transaction between Timbs and the informant. According to the arrest report, Timbs sold the informant three Suboxone pills and attempted to get the informant to purchase Xanax pills.
Following the transaction, authorities moved in and placed Timbs under arrest. According to the arrest report, investigators found in his vehicle a case containing a pill fob that held four-and-a-half Suboxone pills and one Suboxone strip.
Timbs also appeared in Unicoi County Sessions Court on Friday, where he pleaded guilty to one county of casual exchange. He was sentenced to 11 months 29 days’ probation and was ordered to pay a $750 fine plus court costs.
Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley commended the work of his department’s Narcotics Division, which the sheriff said would continue to target the illegal sale of prescription drugs in Unicoi County.
“The Narcotics Team is doing a good job, I can’t say enough about them,” Hensley said. “If people are going to sell drugs in Unicoi County, they had better find another place to live. Anybody that comes into Unicoi County for the purpose of selling drugs, they will become a target of our Narcotics Team. They are pursuing dealers vigorously, and we’re doing our part by arresting them and putting them in jail.”