A traffic stop for a nonilluminated license plate ended with three arrests for trafficking methamphetamine.

Barbourville Police Officer Chase Henson observed a maroon Nissan Altima traelling along US 25 E without its rear plate illuminated. The driver of the vehicle continued a short distance before finally pulling over after Henson activated his lights. Henson conducted a stop and found that the driver, 27 year old Jeremy Gregory of Hinkle, did not have a license. Officer Karl Middleton asked Gregory out of the vehicle while Henson spoke with one of the passengers, 27 year old Amanda Stewart of Barbourville. Before exiting the vehicle, Gregory stated there were no weapons in the car when asked. 

Gregory consented to a search of the vehicle. Under the rear passenger’s seat beneath Ellis Smith, 37, was a loaded Glock 19 pistol and two needles. A search of Smith would also reveal a small bag of suspected meth. 

A second firearm, a loaded .22 caliber Phoenix Arms handgun, was found under Stewart’s legs. Under the front passenger’s seat were multiple zip-up bags in a magnetic box. Multiple sets of digital scales were found as were pills suspected to be Oxycodone and Xanax. Stewart told police that the gun found under her was already there when she got in the car and that Gregory had passed her a baggie to hide during the stop.

All three were arrested and taken to the Knox County Detention Center. During a routine search, Deputy Jailer Penny Smith would locate 33 grams of suspected meth and needles on Stewart, valued between $600 and $1,300 based on government statistics. 

The trio were all charged with trafficking in a controlled substance in the first degree, first and third degree possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Smith and Gregory were charged for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon while Gregory and Stewart were also charged with another first degree trafficking charge. All three are held on $25,000 bonds and set to appear in court on April 6. 

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