What appeared to be a routine traffic stop Sunday lead to the arrest of five people, including one Knox County teacher.
Middlesboro Police Officer Jeremiah Johnson conducted a traffic stop at Exeter Avenue and 29th Street when Johnson observed a driver, later identified as Linda Owens, 20, of Middlesboro, operating a silver/gold Nissan Altima over the speed limit.
The citation further states that once stopped, Johnson requested assistance from Officers Edward Dray and Michael Smith. The officers confronted Owens, observing she showed signs of intoxication and she failed standard field sobriety tests. The officers found her to be “manifestly under the influence” and they said she freely admitted to recent use of methamphetamine, Suboxone, marijuana and Xanax. A search of Owens’ purse lead to the discovery of methamphetamine and found in her vehicle were two glass pipes with residue believed to be methamphetamine.
A check for warrants revealed Owens had an active bench warrant for failure to appear on several possession of controlled substance charges, including obstructing governmental operations, disorderly conduct and public intoxication. At one point during the incident Owens revealed information to the officers leading to other drug activity of a boyfriend at a local hotel, according to a report.
Owens was also charged by Dray with first-degree possession of controlled substance, first offense (methamphetamine); operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs, first offense; no operator’s license; and speeding 5 mph over the speed limit.
Owens was transported to Middlesboro ARH for a blood test and then to the Bell County Detention Center.
A passenger in the vehicle, Amanda Hall, 28, also of Middlesboro, also had an active bench warrant for failure to appear on charges of shoplifting and criminal trespass.
Separate citations state that while Dray and Smith cleared the scene, Officer Johnson along with Officers Kenny Vanover, Barry Cowan and shortly thereafter Michael Smith, went to room 210 at Days Inn on Cumberland Avenue.
The officers conducted a “knock and talk” at the room and could hear movement in the room for several minutes before the door was answered. The citation states that the officers found Michael Miracle, 38, of Middlesboro, Amanda Martin, 20, of Middlesboro, and Joshua Kyle Ramsey, 29, of Pineville inside the room. According to the citation, the officers found drug paraphernalia in the toilet, a clear rock-like substance believed to be methamphetamine in a shoe, in a torn bag and on a side table. Among the drug paraphernalia were several syringes, aluminum foil and a mini digital scale.
No one in the room took ownership of the items discovered, so all three were charged with first-degree possession of controlled substance, first offense (methamphetamine); buy/possess drug paraphernalia; and tampering with physical evidence.
Ramsey, one of the occupants of the room, is a teacher at Knox Central High School. Knox County Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles via Knox County Schools District Communications Director Frank Shelton released a statement in regard to the arrest.
“At this time the employee (Joshua Kyle Ramsey) is suspended pending further investigation by law enforcement and the school district. The school district cannot provide comment on pending investigations of its employees.
The Knox County Board recognizes the substance/drug abuse problem in our nation and our communities. The Board and its employees share a commitment to create and maintain a drug-free workplace. It is the policy of the Board that district employees shall not manufacture, distribute, dispense, be under the influence of, purchase, possess, use, or attempt to purchase or obtain, sell or transfer illegal substances. The policy is part of the Board’s Drug Free/Alcohol Free Schools act.”
Those arrested are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Information for this story from The Big One WRIL.