ELIZABETHTON — A corrections officer with the Carter County Detention Center has been suspended without pay or benefits following his arrest on Sunday on drunken driving and drug charges.
Jesse Carico, 29, 112 Mountain Vernon Place, was reportedly found by Elizabethton Police officers to be slumped over the steering wheel of a pickup truck at 11:25 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of West Elk Avenue and West G Street. Officer James Sexton said when he reached the intersection, he found a black Chevrolet Silverado in the westbound turn lane of West Elk Avenue. There were cars behind the truck and several people were in the parking lot of a nearby convenience store, pointing at the truck.
Sexton said he found the driver was breathing but unconscious. Sexton reached in and pulled the keys from the ignition switch.
Sexton managed to awaken Carico. He said Carico was disoriented and had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. He said Carico admitted to drinking four beers earlier.
A field sobriety check was conducted, and Sexton said Carico showed signs of intoxication.
A search of Carico’s truck uncovered a prescription bottle for 112 oxycodone pills that had been filled Sept. 9. Sexton said only two of the pills remained. A plastic bag containing a crystalline substance that tested positive for methamphetamine was also found. Sexton said Carico told him the truck was a rental and he did not know the methamphetamine was there.
Carico is scheduled to answer the charges on Dec. 20.
Sheriff Chris Mathes said Carico has been suspended without pay until the case is tried. He said an internal investigation is also being conducted.
Mathes said the department had been told there were two deputies seen drinking at Lone Star Restaurant in uniform. One of the deputies was Carico and the other deputy has already been fired.
“Our officers are taught they are not above the law,” Mathes said. “They are held to a higher standard.”