Five repeat offenders were arrested early Wednesday morning on gun and drug charges and for allegedly engaging in organized crime. RAP sheets for the group show a combined sum of over 130 counts charged against them from as far back as 2009.
According to police, Barbourville PD's Officer Karl Middleton, and Knox County Sheriff’s Deputies Mikey Ashurst and Hunter Luttrel went to a residence on Emanuel Hollow Road to conduct a ‘knock and talk’ after receiving a tip that the location might be where stolen firearms and crystal methamphetamine could be found.
Pulling into the driveway, Middleton reported the officers observed a man go back inside the residence, “leaving the front door open.”
“Units heard a lot of commotion from back of the trailer,” according to Middleton. A number of people began to scatter. A woman, a man and three other suspects were found in, around, and behind the trailer, one of which after a struggle up on an embankment in the woods. One deputy was reported to have fallen during the climb.
Meanwhile, “Units observed drug paraphernalia and a gun through the open door,” stated Middleton. During the safety sweep of the residence that followed, “Officers seen in plain view an AR-15 long rifle sitting on a container inside one of the rooms and a gun on a pillow,” he continued, “that fit the description of…stolen firearm from T and L Pawn.” Officers also reportedly found digital scales with a white powder like substance on them that they believed to be methamphetamine.
Cody Dean Abner, Jimmy Davis, Michael Buchanan, April Collins, and Betsy Cecil were each arrested and charged with - ENGAGING IN ORGANIZED CRIME, TRAFFIC IN CONT SUB, 1ST DEGREE, 1ST OFF - (> OR = 2 GMS METHAMPHETAMINE), POSS CONT SUB, 3RD DEGREE - DRUG UNSPECIFIED, POSS OF MARIJUANA, DRUG PARAPHERNALIA - BUY/POSSESS, RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY (FIREARM), RECEIVING STOLEN PROPERTY (FIREARM), and POSS CONT SUB 1ST DEG, 1ST OFF (METHAMPHETAMINE).
Additionally, Cecil was later charged with ASSAULT 3RD DEGREE - INMATE ASSAULT ON CORR. EMPL., MENACING, OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS.
Check back with the Mountain Advocate as this story develops.