ELIZABETHTON — Six people were arrested by the Carter County Sheriff’s Department on methamphetamine charges Saturday following a search of a residence at 197 Lina Harvey Road in the Stoney Creek community.
The raid at 3 a.m. was to the residence of Rodney Alan Adkins Sr., 45, and JoAnn Adkins, 42.
They were each charged with initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine; maintaining a dwelling where controlled substances were used, sold and/or stored; and promoting the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Four other individuals were found in the house and were also arrested. They were Amy Michelle Morton, 37, 105 Betty St., Hampton; Jeffery Lynn Scott, 38, 115 Paul Peters Road; Robin Denise Whitehead, 37, 104 Bailey St., Hampton; and Chad Edward Wright, 39, 617 Ryder Church Road, Bluff City. All four were charged with initiating the process to manufacture methamphetamine. Wright was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Investigator Harmon Duncan of the Carter County Sheriff’s Department said he and other officers came to the door of the Adkinses’ residence Saturday morning and announced they were law- enforcement personnel. While waiting for the front door to be opened, Duncan said he could hear sounds of several footsteps in the residence and of doors being opened and closed.
Sheriff Chris Mathes said that upon making entry into the residence, deputies discovered five individuals exiting a room at the residence where deputies suspect meth was getting ready to be manufactured.
Duncan said once the officers were in the house they began searching. He said they discovered many items normally used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, including coffee filters, salts, Coleman lantern fuel, empty packages that contained cold medicine containing psuedoephedrine, lithium batteries, digital scales, ammonia nitrates and bottles consistent with the “one pot” manufacturing method. He said the items were found throughout the house. A cut ink pen with a white powder residue was found near the place where Wright was sitting.
Mathes said a portable plastic case was also found that contained all of the necessary ingredients to manufacture methamphetamine. The case is suspected of being used by the group as a mobile meth lab.
Duncan reported that Mr. Adkins admitted he had recently cooked methamphetamine. He said a check of the Tennessee Meth Information System indicated Mr. Adkins had purchased psuedoephedrine at least 11 times in Carter County during the year and that Mrs. Adkins had purchased psuedoephedrine at least 10 times during the year. Duncan said Mr. Adkins admitted he had purchased the cold medicine in order to make methamphetamine. Duncan said Mrs. Adkins admitted she had purchased the psuedoephedrine at her husband’s request but she had no idea he was cooking meth.
The tip to search the residence came from a two-car accident that took place on West G Street near Burgie Drugs on Friday.
Officer Doug Combs responded to the 12:40 p.m. accident and found a Toyota Tacoma in the road with heavy front end damage and a Honda Accord over a bank. He found a man sitting on the curb who was identified as Forrest James Gentry, 23, 220 S. Sycamore St. He was suffering from facial lacerations, and Combs spoke with him as he was being treated by emergency personnel.
Combs said Gentry first said he was a passenger in the Honda Accord. Combs had seen the other occupant of the car was still trapped under the passenger floorboard and was being extricated by Elizabethton Fire Department personnel. After discussing his observations with Gentry, Combs said Gentry admitted he was the driver of the Honda, saying he lied because he did not have a valid license and the vehicle was not insured.
Combs said Gentry told him he was eastbound on G Street and “blacked out.” Combs said Gentry’s vehicle then traveled into the westbound lane and collided head-on with the Toyota. The two occupants of the Toyota were transported to Sycamore Shoals Hospital with visible lacerations and bruises.
The passenger of the Honda was identified by Combs as Rodney Alan Adkins Jr., 22, 197 Lina Harvey Road. He was flown by Wings Air Rescue to Johnson City Medical Center.
Combs said further interviews with Gentry at Sycamore Shoals Hospital by Officer John Bulla led to Gentry saying that he and Adkins had been smoking methamphetamine for about an hour and a half before the accident. Officers found a glass pipe and other drug paraphernalia in the wreckage. Combs also said they had been at a methamphetamine cook in Stoney Creek earlier, but would not give the address.
Gentry was charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants, three counts of vehicular assault, no proof of insurance, driving on a suspended license and not exercising due care. Combs said Adkins has not been issued a summons because he was still being treated, but he will be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Because Adkins had a Stoney Creek address, Combs gave the information to the sheriff’s department, which led to the initial visit to the Adkins residence by deputies.