Woman picks up more drug charges after meth lab found

John Thompson • Nov 25, 2013 at 9:35 PM

ELIZABETHTON — A woman who was arrested last month on drug charges in the parking lot of the Carter County Justice Center after she testified in an unrelated drug case is facing more drug charges after a Carter County deputies reported finding evidence of a meth lab in her home.

Janet Cornett Tupay, 61, 102 Bertie Lane, No. 33, Hampton, was charged Friday with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture, initiation of the process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine, maintaining a dwelling where a controlled substance is used, sold, or stored and possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Two other residents of 102 Bertie Lane were also arrested. Joseph Francis Tupay, 34, and Scotty Lee Lewis, 53, were both charged with promotion of methamphetamine manufacture and initiation of the process intended to result in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Joseph Tupay was also charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.

Capt. Tom Smith had gone to Tupay’s residence at noon on Friday to arrest Lewis, who was not home at the time. Janet Tupay allowed Smith to enter her residence to search for Lewis.

Once Smith was inside, he found Joseph Tupay, Janet Tupay’s son, sleeping. Smith said that beside the sleeping man was a syringe and a small black bag. After obtaining consent, Smith said he found 1.2 grams of methamphetamine in the black bag. He then found three individually wrapped bags of meth, weighing 1.3 grams, a half a gram and 0.4 grams in a white pill container in Mr. Tupay’s bedroom.

A further search of the bedroom uncovered a bottle cap with a hole in it that appeared to be part of a clandestine meth lab gas generator bottle. Also found was a small camouflage bag containing two Suboxone and other pills in various small containers, digital scales, three syringes and two cut straws. A jar with meth residue and coffee filters with meth residue were found.

In Janet Tupay’s room, officers reported finding three small baggies of meth with the weights marked on the bag and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia.

Sgt. Travis Ludlow found a backpack stuffed in an air-conditioning duct that contained an empty container of salt, four cold packs, a bundle of empty packs of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine, an empty lithium battery pack, an empty pack of syringes, three plastic bottles used as gas generators, a can of Coleman lantern fuel, coffee filters containing white powder and an air pump strainer. Another quart jar of lantern fuel had the name “Scotty Lewis” on it.

Lewis was arrested later than night by the Elizabethton Police Department on the new meth charges the county had filed. Elizabethton officers were investigating the vandalism of a car and found Lewis at the residence of someone they were questioning in that incident.

Lewis and Tupay and been indicted on methamphetamine charges back in March. Tupay had testified in October in Criminal Court, challenging the officers’ claims she had given consent to search. Following her testimony, officers received information she had drugs in her car and obtained consent to search. The officers reported finding methamphetamine, Klonopin and Xanax in the car.

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