logo



UPDATED with more court info: Mountain City police lieutenant faces federal charges

Becky Campbell • Updated Nov 7, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Federal agents arrested a Mountain City police supervisor Monday, accusing him of exchanging drugs with a woman who apparently turned on him while she was jailed in North Carolina.

Lt. Ronald Shupe, 44, was booked into the Washington County Detention Center in Jonesborough around 10:30 p.m. Monday and was being held without bond. According to the U.S. District Court website, no detention hearing had been set.

A complaint filed Tuesday morning in Greeneville by FBI Special Agent John Anderson detailed the allegations against Shupe, which included numerous accusations that he provided oxycodone and meth to the confidential informant, identified as CW1 in court records, while on duty and even allowed her to shoot up the drugs in his patrol vehicle.

Shupe was also accused in the complaint of using narcotics while on duty.

The two-count criminal complaint charged Shupe with possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone and possession of a firearm that had been shipped and transported by interstate commerce. Those charges stem from an undercover operation where another informant, identified as CW3 in court records, made plans to meet Shupe for an exchange of drugs.

Court records show text and Facebook messages between the two about the transaction. Shupe was under surveillance when he met with CW3, who was wearing a wire. After the informant gave Shupe oxycodone pills, which Shupe paid for, the officer was arrested.

As soon as he left the meeting, Shupe was surrounded by agents from the FBI, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“He was arrested in possession of the pills (Schedule II controlled substances). He was in full uniform, driving a Mountain City police car, and armed with a department-issued Glock pistol and ammunition,” the complaint states.

The complaint implicated another Mountain City officer, but there was no record in federal court that officer had been charged.

According to the filing, Johnson County sheriff’s investigators met with CW1 at the Ashe County, North Carolina, jail in June where she was in jail on drug charges. After waiving her Miranda rights, the woman told officers she had received methamphetamine from Shupe on several occasions while he was on duty.

The woman told investigators that she and Shupe communicated through Facebook Messenger. In August, TBI agents obtained a search warrant to get access to the woman’s Messenger account and found multiple conversations she’d had with Shupe.

In one exchange, Shupe reportedly asked the woman “the best way to do them Roxie pills. Can they be shot.”

The woman told Shupe she’d never done that, but wanted to because she needed “some go go.” Shupe responded “me too” and that he worked the next morning and would try to find them some.

From other conversations between Shupe and the woman, investigators allege that Shupe was watching for warrants on the woman so he could warn her law enforcement was looking for her.

In another conversation, Shupe’s text message to the woman said, “Hey baby girl. Just when ever u get to n town let me know and I’ll meet u behind foodlion. I’m still waiting on my candy to arrive and I’ll bring you some. I looked for a new thing but we don’t have any.”

Shupe went on to say that he’d bought a “G” which was described in the court filing as a gram of methamphetamine.

During the interview with CW1, she told investigators that she met with Shupe at least five or six times between August 2016 to March 2017 to get methamphetamine, and that each time he was in his patrol car to make the delivery.

“CW1 reported she has given Shupe an intravenous injection of methamphetamine on two occasions while Shupe was in his patrol car and on duty. CW1 advised she injected Shupe with the methamphetamine into a vein on his hand while they were sitting in his patrol car. CW1 reported Shupe would refer to methamphetamine as go-go or an energy booster when they were discussing methamphetamine.”

In a text communication from Shupe’s phone to an unidentified co-conspirator, investigators said Shupe arranged purchasing 10 mg Lortab for himself and another officer at the department.

Shupe is also accused of communicating with CW3 by text messages in which they discussed getting “high” and exchanging drugs for money. Also during the exchanges with CW3, Shupe was asked to check on any warrants on someone, and the officer later told CW3 there was a violation of probation on that person.

Reported earlier:

Federal agents arrested a Mountain City police supervisor Monday on charges he was exchanging oxycodone and methamphetamine with a woman who apparently turned on him while she was jailed in North Carolina.

Lt. Ronald Shupe, 44, was booked into the Washington County Detention Center in Jonesborough around 10:30 p.m. Monday and was being held without bond. According to the U.S. District Court website, no detention hearing had been set.

A complaint filed Tuesday morning in Greeneville by FBI Special Agent John Anderson detailed the allegations against Shupe, which included numerous occasions when he provided oxycodone and meth to the the confidential informant, identified as CW1 in court records, while on duty and even allowed her to shoot up the drugs in his patrol vehicle.

Shupe was also accused in the complaint of using narcotics while on duty.

The two-count criminal complaint charged Shupe with possession with the intent to distribute oxycodone and possession of a firearm that had been shipped and transported by interstate commerce. Those charges stem from an undercover operation where another informant, identified as CW3 in court records, made plans to meet Shupe for an exchange of drugs.

Court records show text and Facebook messages between the two about the transaction. Shupe was under surveillance when he met with CW3 who was wearing a wire. After the informant gave Shupe oxycodone pills, which Shupe paid for, the officer was arrested.

As soon as he left the meeting, Shupe was surrounded by agents from the FBI, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“He was arrested in possession of the pills (Schedule II controlled substances). He was in full uniform, driving a Mountain City police car, and armed with a department issued Glock pistol and ammunition,” the complaint states.

The complaint implicates another Mountain City officer, but there was no record in federal court he had been charged.

According to the Mountain City Tomahawk staff, both Shupe and the other officer had been placed on administrative leave.

Recommended for You