Welfare Check Yields Four Meth Arrests
As is far too often in this area drug users and home meth labs put children in danger. Three more children will now go to foster care while their parents are looking at jail time. The claim of non-violent drug use is a victimless crime is nonsense - ask these three children.
On March 10, 2014 at approximately 11:00 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to 204 Virgil Avenue in Kingsport to accompany a Case Officer with the Department of Children's Services while she checked the welfare of three children said to be residing at this address. Officers spoke with a resident of this address, Elizabeth Bowen, who initially told them nobody else was home, but gave them consent to search the home.
During the search officers encountered three other adults including Ms. Bowen's husband, Billy Jo Bowen, and two visitors, Derrick C. Gibson and Christopher A. Russell. Mr. Bowen was found to be in possession of a small baggie of marijuana and a metal spoon with burnt residue consistent with drug use.
Mr. Gibson was found to be in possession of a small baggie containing what was believed to be methamphetamine and a syringe. Other assorted drug paraphernalia, including needles and pipes commonly used to ingest narcotics, were located throughout the residence.
Mr. Russell was located in the basement of the residence in close proximity to more than ten "one-pot" methamphetamine labs. Mr. Russell initially emerged from the basement holding a screwdriver over his head in a threatening manner; however, as soon as he saw the uniformed officers, he dropped the screwdriver and complied with their commands. The individual bottles used for these labs contained sludge residue consistent with previous methamphetamine manufacturing.
K.P.D. Vice Detectives and Methamphetamine Lab Technicians responded and took over the investigation. The Kingsport Fire Department responded and decontaminated all occupants of the residence.
All four adults were arrested and transported to the Kingsport City Jail. Ms. Bowen was charged with Initiation of the Process to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of Illegal Drug Paraphernalia, and Maintaining a Dwelling where Narcotics are Sold, Used, or Stored. Mr. Bowen was charged with Initiation of the Process to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Simple Possession of a Schedule VI Drug (Marijuana), and Possession of Illegal Drug Paraphernalia.
Mr. Gibson was charged with Initiation of the Process to Manufacture Methamphetamine, Possession of a Schedule II Drug (Methamphetamine), and Possession of Illegal Drug Paraphernalia. Mr. Russell was charged with Initiation of the Process to Manufacture Methamphetamine, and Possession of Illegal Drug Paraphernalia.
Two of the three children who were reported to be residing at this address were home at the time of this incident. A separate investigation into their welfare is being conducted by the K.P.D. Criminal Investigations Division and the Department of Children's Services; however, due to their ages and the nature of the investigation, no further information will be released in that matter.
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