Carter Co. Sheriff's deputy says man who left scene of accident found carrying pot plants

John Thompson • Aug 28, 2013 at 9:33 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A Carter County deputy reported that he not only got his man on Tuesday, but got his plants as well.

Deputy James Stevens was searching for a man who had reportedly just left the scene of an accident on the Elizabethton Highway near Sinking Creek Baptist Church. Stevens was told the man drove away in a white sports utility vehicle. Through investigation, Stevens said, he learned the registered owner of the vehicle was Jeffrey A. Holtsclaw, 51, 159 Jarrett Buck Loop.

Stevens went to the residence, where he saw a man walking through the back yard carrying two plants. When Stevens walked to the side of the residence, he said, he detected the odor of marijuana.

The deputy then walked toward Holtsclaw and asked him if he had just been involved in a wreck. He said Holtsclaw told him he had been in an accident. Stevens reported that Holtsclaw had told him he had someone pick him up so he could take his dog home.

Stevens then asked Holtsclaw what kind of plants he had taken behind the building. He said Holtsclaw told him they were house plants. Stevens then asked Holtsclaw to walk to the plants with him. He said they located two marijuana plants that were approximately 36 inches tall. They were lying against the building.

The deputy said he asked Holtsclaw why he had taken the plants behind the building. He reported that Holtsclaw told him he did not need them anymore, because they were too much trouble.

Stevens arrested Holtsclaw and took him back to the scene of the accident. When he arrived, he told Lt. Penny Garland about his discovery. He then went back to Holtclaw's residence to collect the evidence.

Holtslcaw was taken to Sycamore Shoals Hospital because of complaints about his back. After leaving the hospital, Stevens said, he received a call from Garland telling him she had found to plastic bottles in Holtsclaw's vehicle which contained peach-colored pills she believed were methadone.

Holtsclaw was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, failure to provide proof of insurance, manufacturing a controlled substance (marijuana) and possession of a schedule II drug. Holtsclaw is scheduled to answer the charges in Sessions Court on Sept. 30.

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